15 dead and 30 wounded in clashes in Kashmir between Indian and Pakistani troops.
SRINAGAR / MUZAFFARABAD: At least 10 civilians and five security personnel were killed in the cross-border bombardment between India and Pakistan on Friday, on one of the deadliest days this year along the heavily militarized border. separating nuclear weapons rivals, officials said.
Indian officials said the shelling of mortars and other weapons along various parts of the Line of Control, the de facto border, began after Indian troops thwarted an attempt to infiltrate Pakistan from the north. from Kashmir.
The Pakistani army said in a statement that it had responded to indiscriminate and unprovoked fire from the Indian army.
Indian officials said six civilians, three soldiers and a border guard were killed on their side. The Pakistani military said four civilians and one soldier were killed on the Pakistani side.
India and Pakistan fully claim Kashmir. They each rule part of the region, with New Delhi long accusing its neighbor of fueling an insurgency, which Pakistan denies.
Indian and Pakistani troops regularly exchange fire across the mountainous border, but the shelling on Friday was particularly intense, Indian officials said. The two parties also accused the other of shooting at civilian areas.
“As usual, they attacked the civilian population without any remorse,” said Syed Shahid Qadri, a government official in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, where a woman was among those killed and 27 others injured.
Across the border in Indian-administered Kashmir, authorities said an 8-year-old boy was among those killed in the shelling that began in the morning and continued until late at night.
Mukhtar Ahmad, a resident of Uri in Indian Kashmir, said panic reigned in the hillside town after loud explosions were heard in areas closer to the de facto border.
“Several families fled the area and took refuge in the town of Uri,” he said.
More than 40 civilians have been killed in gunfire between Indian and Pakistani troops this year, according to official data, and both sides have suffered similar deaths.