India accuses Pakistani troops of attacking LoC posts; one killed


SRINAGAR: India accused Pakistani troops of firing guns and mortars on at least 50 Indian border posts overnight in disputed Kashmir, calling it the most serious cease-fire violation between the neighbours in a decade.

The attacks began Tuesday night in southern Kashmir after India’s home minister visited the region to review security, Border Security Force spokesman Vinod Yadav said.

Indian troops returned fire, but one guard was killed and six were injured by a shell fired at the Arnia post in the Jammu region, he said.

At least 100 civilians were being moved from homes in the villages of Arnia and Ramgarh near the frontier, local Indian police officer Rajesh Kumar said.

While nearly 200 smaller violations of the 2003 cease-fire agreement have been reported this year, Yadav called the latest skirmishes the most serious in a decade.

In most cases, India or Pakistan accuses the other of initiating the fighting. Both sides, however, have acknowledged an increase in the number of cross-border attacks since the Pakistani and Indian prime ministers met for their first face-to-face meeting last month in New York and agreed on the need to reduce tensions.

Pakistani military officials have said that, over the last week, ”unprovoked firing” by Indian forces has killed a Pakistani soldier and a civilian. Ten other civilians were wounded, the Pakistani officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Most recently, Pakistani officials said Indian forces shelled Dhamala village near Sialkot on Tuesday. Pakistani soldiers returned fire, and no casualties were reported.

India’s Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was in the Jammu region of Indian-administered Kashmir on Tuesday to meet with troops and security officials after reported skirmishes last week.

AP