World / Asia-Pacific

Indian, Pakistan trade fire on Kashmir border

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-21 16:30

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir - The border guards of India and Pakistan Wednesday exchanged fire on forward posts in Arnia area of R S Pura sector of Jammu district, violating cease-fire agreement on International Border (IB) in Kashmir, officials said.

The district is about 322 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

"In yet another incident of cease-fire violation, Pakistani troops resorted to firing in Arnia area of R S Pura sector along India-Pakistan IB today," an official said. "Pakistani troops using small arms started unprovoked firing on our three forward posts at around 6:00 a.m. (local time)."

According to officials, Indian border guards of Border Security Force (BSF) posted along the IB adequately retaliated to firing from Pakistan.

"The BSF retaliated to the firing and exchange of fire was going on when the reports last came in."

However, there were no reports of any damage to the Indian side in the fresh exchange.

Both New Delhi and Islamabad accused each other of resorting to unprovoked firings and violating cease-fire agreements. And both sides insisted that their troops gave befitting reply to the other side.

The fresh exchange on volatile border came four days ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to India.

Obama is scheduled to visit India as the chief guest on India's republic celebration day and ceremonial parade on Jan 26.

The troops of India and Pakistan intermittently exchange fire on the 720 km-long Line of Control (LoC) and 198 km IB in Kashmir, despite an agreement in 2003 to observe cease-fire. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the cease-fire, however, remains in effect.

Indian officials said 564 cease-fire violations, 411 along IB and 153 violations along LoC were recorded last year.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts. The LoC on both sides is guarded by army, while IB is guarded by BSF on Indian side and Pakistan Rangers on the other side.

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