Pakistan says four people killed by Indian cross-border fire

Pakistani Army soldiers attend a funeral ceremony of their comrade Havaldar Ibrar Ahmad Awan on Nov 15, who was killed during clashes across the Line of Control, the defacto border between Pakistani and Indian-administered Kashmir. Tensions between t
Pakistani Army soldiers attend a funeral ceremony of their comrade Havaldar Ibrar Ahmad Awan on Nov 15, who was killed during clashes across the Line of Control, the defacto border between Pakistani and Indian-administered Kashmir. Tensions between the two countries along the border have escalated in recent months.PHOTO: EPA

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Four people, including two children, were killed on Monday and ten others wounded in cross-border fire in disputed Kashmir, the latest casualties in ongoing skirmishes between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

"At the Line of Control (LoC) four civilians embraced shahadat (martyrdom) and 10 were injured," Pakistan's military said in a brief statement.

"There are reports of heavy casualties of Indian soldiers due to effective retaliatory fire by Pakistani troops," it added, claiming at least six Indian soldiers had been killed.

There was no immediate response to the allegation from Indian officials.

Local Pakistani officials said two children and a woman were among those killed on Monday in heavy shelling by Indian troops in three separate sectors along the LoC in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

The latest casualties occurred two days after three children were killed when mortar shells fired by Indian forces hit a village along the LoC.

Tensions across the long-disputed de facto Himalayan border reached dangerous levels in September, after India blamed Pakistani militants for a raid on an army base that killed 19 soldiers.

India said it had responded by carrying out "surgical strikes" across the heavily militarised border, sparking a furious reaction from Islamabad, which denied the strikes took place.

There have since been repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including of civilians.

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.