Kashmir: India says eight civilians injured in Pakistan firing

Indian villagers, injured in what witnesses said was firing from the Pakistan side of the border, are taken to a hospital in Jammu October 24, 2013 Indian officials said two children were among the wounded in the latest incidents of firing from Pakistan.

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Eight civilians have been injured after Pakistani troops fired guns and mortar shells at border posts in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials say.

Two children were among those wounded, a Border Security Force official said.

Pakistan said the ceasefire violations were "a matter of great concern", but they had no information or comment about the latest incident.

In recent months, India and Pakistan have accused each other of unprovoked firing along the disputed border.

India says there have been nearly 200 violations of the decade-long ceasefire agreement since the beginning of this year.

On Wednesday morning, India said a paramilitary soldier was killed and many others were injured in firing overnight.

Earlier this month, the Indian army said it had fought gun battles with "30 to 40 Pakistan-backed militants" who had tried to infiltrate into India.

Officials said the militants made several attempts to enter the Keran area and that at least eight of them died in clashes over the last two weeks.

Pakistan dismissed as "baseless" reports of infiltration from its soil.

Volatile border

"In the overnight firing from across the border eight civilians, including two children, have been injured in the general area of Kanachak near the international border in the Jammu region," senior BSF official Darmindar Parrikh told the BBC.

Officials accused Pakistani troops of shelling 17 border posts and hamlets in Jammu and Samba districts overnight.

They said India responded and the exchanges continued until early Friday morning.

A villager shows a mortar shell that locals say was fired from the Pakistan side of the international border, at Garkhal village, about 35 km (22 miles) from Jammu October 25, 2013. Indian officials say Pakistani troops fired guns and mortar shells at several border posts in the disputed Kashmir region on Thursday night.
Indian villagers injured allegedly in firing by Pakistani troops across the India Pakistan border are brought on a stretcher for treatment at the government medical college hospital in Jammu, India, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 Officials said eight civilians were injured in the overnight shelling.
A woman, injured in what witnesses said was firing from the Pakistan side of the border, is taken to a hospital in Jammu October 24, 2013. The injured have been admitted to hospital in Jammu.
Indian women look at shell marks allegedly caused from firing from Pakistan side at Garkhal village near the India-Pakistan international border, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Jammu, India, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 India says there have been nearly 200 violations of the ceasefire agreement since the beginning of this year.

On Friday, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah visited the injured in the hospital.

Reports say hundreds of villagers have fled their homes in border areas in recent days due to repeated firing from Pakistan.

In Islamabad, foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said he had no information or comment on the latest exchange of firing, but added that Pakistani troops did not fire indiscriminately and emphasised that Pakistan has no interest in creating problems along the border, reports Associated Press.

"Our troops have a policy. We will not indulge in firing first. But if we are fired upon we will give a responsible and effective response," he added.

The increased volatility along the border comes 10 years after the two countries agreed a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border that divides Kashmir between them.

In September, the prime ministers of the two countries met in New York and agreed to maintain peace on the border, but correspondents say their pledge seems to have made little difference on the ground.

Earlier this week, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to go the "extra mile" to make peace with India, saying while on a trip to the US that the two countries can resolve all issues including Kashmir through dialogue.

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