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Exchange of gunfire resumes across Pakistan-India border

Updated October 11, 2014

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Photo shows Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers walking through heavy fog at the India-Pakistan border, about 25 kms from Jammu on October 10, 2014.—AFP photo
Photo shows Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers walking through heavy fog at the India-Pakistan border, about 25 kms from Jammu on October 10, 2014.—AFP photo

ISLAMABAD: India and Pakistan exchanged gunfire across the disputed Kashmir border and working boundary on Saturday, military officials from both countries said, ending a pause in fighting that has already killed 17 civilians in the worst skirmishes in a decade.

Both sides blamed each other for starting the fresh outbreak of fighting.

The Pakistan army confirmed that a 70-year-old village resident Wali Muhammad was injured due to unprovoked firing and shelling by Indian forces in Poonch sector near Rawalkot.

“Pakistani troops effectively responded to Indian shelling,” a spokesman for the ISPR, the public relations wing, said in a short statement.

The spokesman warned that every Indian violation on the Line of Control (LoC) and working boundary would meet “a befitting response”.

Later in the evening, Chenab Rangers said Indian forces also opened unprovoked gunfire and shelling across the border in Charwa sector near the working boundary in Sialkot. Army sources said Pakistani forces responded effectively to the firing.

Also read: Pakistan capable of responding to Indian actions, says defence minister

Meanwhile, the Indian army blamed the Pakistani military of launching unprovoked fire.

An Indian army official claimed Pakistan border guards targeted 10 Indian border posts in the Poonch sector.

“Our troops retaliated. Heavy firing is going on,” he told news agency Reuters.

There was no immediate report of casualties from the Indian side.

The fresh gunfire exchange resumes fighting after the two armies abruptly stopped Thursday night following nine days of attacking each other with mortars and heavy machine guns.

Both sides have blamed the other for triggering a crisis on the border, with Pakistan suggesting that India's new government led by nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi was flexing its muscles on the dispute over Kashmir, the cause of two wars.

Related: India-Pakistan clashes escalate into a humanitarian tragedy

New Delhi claims Pakistan has ratcheted up tensions to keep alive the 67-year-old dispute and vowed a strong response to any Pakistani attempt to stir up trouble in the Kashmir region.

The two sides agreed a ceasefire in 2003 which has frayed over the past two years.