Nine dead as India, Pakistan trade fire along Kashmir border

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SRINAGAR : Eight civilians, including a husband and wife and four members of another family, were killed when Indian and Pakistani soldiers fired at border posts and villages along the highly militarized frontier in disputed Kashmir, officials said Friday. An Indian soldier was also killed in the fighting.

The cross-border firing and shelling began overnight and spread to dozens of posts in the Jammu region of the Himalayan territory, said Indian police officer S.D. Singh.

Indian paramilitary officials said their soldiers responded to Pakistani gunfire and shelling, describing it as “unprovoked and indiscriminate.” The officials said the paramilitary soldier was killed by a Pakistani sniper Thursday night, leading to cross-border firing and shelling at several forward posts.

The husband and wife and two other civilians were killed on the Indian side. At least 12 civilians were also wounded and were being treated in hospitals.

In Pakistan, the military accused Indian troops of initiating an “unprovoked” violation of the 2003 cease-fire accord between the two countries along the frontier near Kashmir and targeting the civilian population, including four villagers who died Friday morning. (KNB with inputs AP)