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India, Pakistan armies exchange fire in Kashmir for second day


19:42, June 26, 2013

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The armies of India and Pakistan Wednesday again exchanged fire on line-of-control (LoC) in Kashmir, officials said.

The ceasefire violation took place along the LoC in Saujiyan and Doda Battalion area of frontier Poonch district, around 190 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian- controlled Kashmir.

This is second ceasefire violation in less than 24 hours.

"Today again Pakistani troops fired on Indian posts at 10:45 a. m. in Poonch," said S. N. Acharaya, Indian army spokesman based in Jammu. "They continued to fire on our positions for half an hour. We also retaliated to Pakistani fire."

The ceasefire violation has come at a time when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chairperson of India's ruling coalition (United Progressive Alliance - UPA) Sonia Gandhi are on a visit to the restive region.

Acharaya said they have not suffered any damage in the Pakistani firing.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled parts.

Also on Tuesday the armies of two countries exchanged fire in Poonch.

Earlier this month a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of Indian army was killed in a similar exchange of fire in Saujiyan- Mandi sector of Poonch.

In January this year skirmishes between armies of two nuclear neighbors claimed lives of five troopers, two from India and three from Pakistan.

New Delhi and Islamabad in 2003 agreed to observe a ceasefire along the international border and LoC in Kashmir. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the ceasefire remains in effect.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided by India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

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