A farmer works in a paddy field near the fenced border between Indian and Pakistan in the Kashmir region.   — File Photo by Reuters

SRINAGAR: Pakistani soldiers fired heavy weapons into Indian-administered in retaliation to an "unprovoked attack" on a Pakistan army post, a Pakistani military official told AFP, in the latest reported skirmish between the rival nations.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Indian defence ministry had claimed that Pakistani soldiers fired heavy weapons into Indian-administered Kashmir and killed three civilians.

They opened fire near the village of Churunda, near the Line of Control that acts as the de facto border in the Kashmir region, according to the Indian statement.

“Pakistani troops... started firing heavy-calibre weapons on the houses of civilians of Churunda village resulting in the death of three civilians,” the statement said.

Pakistan army officials blamed the clash on “unprovoked” Indian fire on a Pakistan army post.

“Indian troops initiated unprovoked fire on Pakistan army post to which Pakistani troops responded,” a Pakistani army official told AFP.

Local residents have reported sporadic small-arms exchanges between Indian and Pakistani troops in the same sector for the past fortnight.

Tensions between the countries last flared in the wake of the Mumbai attacks in 2008, which India blamed on Pakistan-based militants and “official agencies” of Pakistan, a charge Islamabad has denied.

Two of the three wars between India and Pakistan have been fought over divided Kashmir, which both countries claim in full.


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