World Bulletin/News Desk
An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier was killed and at least six others wounded on Wednesday in a cross-border artillery duel in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
"One BSF man was killed and six to seven others were wounded after Pakistani Rangers violated [the] ceasefire and targeted our posts," BSF spokesman Vinod Yadav told Anadolu Agency.
Yadav said that Pakistani soldiers had fired heavy artillery and mortars, adding that Indian troops had retaliated.
The two sides reportedly exchanged fire in 50 locations along the Line of Control (LoC), raining shells down on each other.
The BSF said it had rushed reinforcements to the border area following the incident.
Indian Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde visited the border areas on Tuesday to review security along the LoC.
In Islamabad, an army official denied the Indian allegations, accusing India of continuously violating the ceasefire.
Speaking to AA on condition of anonymity, the official said that within the past two months over a dozen Pakistani soldiers and civilians had been killed by cross-border fire by Indian troops.
Since the first week of August, there have been heavy exchanges of fire along the LoC – on an almost daily basis – between Indian and Pakistani forces.
In 2003, New Delhi and Islamabad agreed to observe a ceasefire along the LoC.
The deal was described as one of the most significant confidence-building measures between the nuclear rivals in recent history.
Although violations are reported every now and then by both sides, the ceasefire remains in effect.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held partly by India and partly by Pakistan, although both countries claim the entire territory as their own.
Indian and Pakistan have fought three full-fledged wars since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Since 1989, Kashmiri groups in Indian-occupied Kashmir have been fighting for independence or unification with neighboring majority-Muslim Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict so far.Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2013, 16:37