12 wounded as India and Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir
Associated Press in Srinagar, India
Indian and Pakistani troops fired machine guns and mortar shells over the border in Kashmir, wounding at least 12 people - including children - as the disputed region sees some of the most serious tensions since the 2003 ceasefire, officials said yesterday.
The latest violence started Thursday night at about two dozen border posts along the frontier. As in most cases of firing along the border, India and Pakistan accused each other of initiating the fighting.
Shantmanu, an Indian civil administrator in Kashmir who uses only one name, said 10 civilians, including four children, were wounded. In Islamabad, Pakistani military officials said Indian troops fired first, wounding two civilians.
On Wednesday, India accused Pakistani troops of firing guns and mortars on at least 50 Indian border posts.
Analysts say it is too early to determine whether the firing signals a serious escalation. Vivek Katju, a retired Indian diplomat, said the violence could be an attempt to raise tensions along the border to draw international attention to the conflict.