India and Pakistan troops trade border fire: Officials

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Indian and Pakistani troops traded cross-border fire on Sunday, officials said, the latest in a series of clashes that began earlier this month and have claimed at least 20 civilian lives.

No one was injured in the latest incident, which according to a Pakistani army statement began when Indian troops resorted to "unprovoked" fire across the border that separates Indian-held Kashmir and Pakistan's Punjab province.

Each country holds part of the Himalayan territory but claims it in full. The two nations have fought two full-scale wars over Kashmir, though tensions have eased since the signing of a 2003 ceasefire.

It is still unclear what precipitated the recent upsurge in unrest, which began on October 6 during the Islamic festival of Eid ul-Adha and has forced thousands of residents on both sides to flee their homes.

Pakistan's most senior foreign affairs official Sartaj Aziz meanwhile had a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, officials said. He told Ban that Islamabad "was fully united and determined to thwart any aggression", according to a statement released by his office.

Aziz also called on the UN to implement its 1947 resolution calling for a referendum in Kashmir to determine its fate and restore peace to the region - a resolution India has long rejected.

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