MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AFP) – Two people were killed in cross-border firing in Kashmir Thursday, one on each side of the disputed region’s de facto border, officials in India and Pakistan said in the latest skirmishes between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
A teenage boy was killed and his grandmother wounded in Chorhai village in Pakistani Kashmir after “indiscriminate” firing from Indian troops, local official Raja Arshad told AFP.
Nine people were wounded during firing from the Indian side along the Line of Control (LoC), the internationally agreed frontier, Raja Azhar, a Pakistani Kashmir government spokesman, said.
On the Indian side a woman was killed and her husband wounded in Naushera sector, police director general S. P. Vaid said.
Indian army spokesman Manish Mehta also termed the early morning firing by the Pakistani side “indiscriminate”, but said forces were “retaliating strongly and effectively”. It was unclear if the firing was still going on.
Pakistan condemned the “Indian acts of deliberate targeting of civilians,” foreign ministry spokesman Nafis Zakaria said in a statement.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over the mountainous region.
Tensions reached dangerous levels again last September, with both sides blaming one another for cross-border raids.
There have since been repeated outbreaks of firing across the LoC, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including of civilians.