Jamaica Gleaner / SRINAGAR, India (AP):
Tensions have soared along the volatile frontier between India and Pakistan in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, as rival troops shelled villages and border posts for a third day yesterday.
Three civilians and two soldiers were killed on both sides in the latest clash, officials in the two countries said, as each blamed the other for initiating the violence.
Indian officials said that two civilians, an army soldier, and a paramilitary soldier died and at least 24 civilians and two soldiers were injured in Indian-controlled Kashmir. According to Pakistani officials, Indian fire yesterday killed a civilian and wounded nine others in Sialkot in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province.
An Indian paramilitary officer said that soldiers were responding to Pakistani firing and shelling on dozens of border posts and called it an “unprovoked” violation of a 2003 ceasefire accord.
Angered over the rising violence, Pakistan’s foreign ministry summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh and condemned what it called “unprovoked ceasefire violations” by India.
Each country has also accused the other of initiating past border skirmishes and causing civilian and military casualties.