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September 17, 2013

India, Pakistan armies exchange fire in Kashmir

World

AFP
September 17, 2013

HELD SRINAGAR: The armies of India and Pakistan fired at each other’s positions on the line of control (LoC) in Kashmir, officials said on Monday.The ceasefire violation took place in the morning in Mendhar Sector of frontier Poonch District, around 185km southwest of Srinagar City, the summer capital of Held Kashmir.
“Pakistani army violated ceasefire and targeted our posts in Mendhar area at 6:25am,” said S N Acharaya, Indian army spokesman in Jammu. “Our side also retaliated in an effective manner to Pakistani firing and firing lasted until 10:00am.”
The firing from both sides continued for more than three hours.According to Acharaya, the Indian side has not suffered any damage due to Pakistani firing.The ceasefire violation has come a day after India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Pakistan’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz agreed to respect the LoC ceasefire agreement of 2003.
The leaders on Friday met in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit.The two leaders also agreed to a meeting of the prime ministers of the two countries in New York later this month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.
New Delhi and Islamabad in 2003 agreed to observe ceasefire along the international border and LoC in Kashmir. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the ceasefire remains in effect.
Skirmishes between the two armies are going on almost on daily basis for the past one month. Majority of the exchanges took place on LoC in Poonch. The LoC is a de-facto border that divides Kashmir into Indian Held Kashmir and Azad Kashmir.
Both India and Pakistan blamed each other of resorting to unprovoked firing that triggers skirmishes that resulted in civilian or troop casualties on both sides.During last month’s flare-up, eight troopers, five from Indian side and three from Pakistan side, were killed.