Pakistan accuses India of border fire, says several wounded | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan accuses India of border fire, says several wounded

Indian forces have fired across the border in Pakistan, wounding a soldier and several villagers, a Pakistani paramilitary spokesman said today. The latest incident occured across the border in the Sialkot sector, in Pakistan's Punjab province, which is considered rare.

world Updated: Jul 07, 2010 13:00 IST

Indian forces have fired across the border in Pakistan, wounding a soldier and several villagers, a Pakistani paramilitary spokesman said on Wednesday.

The neighbours, in the past, exchanged almost daily firing across what is known as the Line of Control separating the two armies in Kashmir. But the latest incident occured across the border in the Sialkot sector, in Pakistan's Punjab province, which is considered rare.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers said Indian border security forces fired automatic weapons and mortar bombs at a village along the Sialkot working boundary, north of the Pakistani city of Lahore.

"First they fired on Tuesday morning and then again in the evening and the firing continued sporadically throughout the night until Wednesday morning," said Nadeem Raza.

"One of our soldiers and several villagers have been wounded in the Indian firing."

There was no immediate comment from New Delhi.

The flare-up comes ahead of Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna's trip to Pakistan next week to meet with his counterpart in a renewed bid to normalise ties.

Relations between the neighbours, who have fought three wars since 1947, went into a freeze after Pakistan-based militants attacked Mumbai in 2008, killing 166 people.

A late 2003 ceasefire between the two sides across the ceasefire line in Kashmir has largely held although there have been several exchanges of fire over the past year.

Raza said Pakistani forces retaliated after Indian forces "did not respond to the call for a flag-meeting" and continued firing.

India has long accused Pakistan of backing militants fighting Indian security forces in the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Pakistan supports what it calls a freedom struggle by the people of Kashmir against what it sees as the brutal and illegitimate Indian occupation of the region.

But it denies arming the guerrillas, who have been fighting Indian forces since 1989.