Pakistani Troops Fire Across Kashmir Border: India

24 October 2009

Srinagar: Pakistani troops on Saturday fired at Indian army positions across the de facto border dividing Kashmir between the two nations, the Indian army said, accusing Islamabad of violating a ceasefire. Pakistani troops fired from light and medium machine guns towards Indian forward posts in the southern Poonch sector, army spokesman Biplab Nath told AFP over the telephone from the state winter capital Jammu. He said an Indian soldier was wounded in the 'unprovoked firing that lasted for some 30 minutes.' 'It was yet another violation of ceasefire by Pakistani troops,' Nath said, adding the matter has been taken up with Pakistani authorities. India in the past has accused the Pakistani army of providing covering fire for infiltrating militants. Islamabad denies the charge. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over mainly Muslim Kashmir, held in part by each country but claimed in full by both. They agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control in 2003 and launched a peace process in 2004. Since then there have been sporadic small clashes with both sides accusing each other of violating the ceasefire. An insurgency against New Delhi's rule in Indian Kashmir has raged since 1989. Islamabad denies helping the Muslim rebels. But violence has sharply declined since the start of the peace process. Meanwhile, Indian troops Saturday morning shot dead a Kashmiri youth who tried to enter their camp after injuring a soldier by hitting him with an axe, an Indian army spokesman said in Srinagar. The residents of northern Baramulla district held noisy anti-India demonstrations blaming the army for killing the youth in 'unprovoked firing,' locals who could be reached on the phone said.