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Pakistan, India Trade Claims Over Cease-fire Violations

Kashmiri women grieve as they watch funeral of Showkat Ahmed Lohar, a local militant in Arwani, about 55 kilometesr (35 miles) south of Srinagar, India, July 18, 2017. Indian soldiers and police killed three suspected rebels during a brief gun battle Mond

Pakistan says India’s border forces opened fire Wednesday in the divided Kashmir region in violation of a mutual cease-fire truce, killing a soldier and two civilians.

The “unprovoked” Indian military action has “critically injured” two soldiers and wounded five civilians, Pakistan army spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor said.

Ghafoor said Pakistani troops retaliated and destroyed Indian posts that had been firing at them and a nearby civilian population, killing five Indian soldiers.

There was no immediate reaction from India regarding the Pakistani claims.

Indian media quoted army officials as saying “unprovoked” fire by Pakistani troops Wednesday killed a junior military officer and wounded a civilian in the Poonch-Rajouri sector of the de facto Kashmir boundary.

The cross-border clash occurred hours after the foreign ministry in Islamabad said it summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner to protest and condemn Tuesday’s cease-fire violations by Indian forces that killed two civilians and wounded six others in another part of Kashmir.

Pakistani military said this past Sunday that four soldiers drowned after their vehicle was hit by Indian fire causing it to plunge into a river in the mountainous Himalayan region.

The two armies routinely accuse each other of initiating fire across the Line of Control that separates Pakistani and Indian Kashmir. Both the nuclear-armed rival nations claim the region in its entirety and have fought two wars over it.

The territorial dispute remains the primary source of tensions stemming from allegations that Islamabad arms and supports the separatist Muslim insurgency in Indian Kashmir.

Pakistan denies the charges and accuses Indian security forces of committing serious human rights abuses to suppress what it says is an “indigenous freedom struggle” by the people of the Muslim-majority region.