India, Pakistan exchange border fire

Updated: 2011-05-15 17:34


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JAMMU, India - Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sustained cross-border fire on Sunday, a spokesman for the Indian military said, a day after one of its soldiers was killed by Pakistani troops while on patrol on one of the world's most heavily guarded borders.

India's Border Security Force and Pakistan's Rangers shot at each other using handguns for 30 minutes early on Sunday at a border post 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Jammu, the winter capital of the disputed Kashmir region in north India.

Short outbursts of firing across the border have happened almost every month since a ceasefire was established in 2003, but an Indian soldier has not been killed by Pakistani troops since last May.

An Indian soldier died in hospital late on Saturday from bullet wounds sustained after Pakistani soldiers opened fire on a routine patrol in the same area.

"Pakistani soldiers opened unprovoked firing on our Umra Wali post at 8.05 (local time) this morning," said the spokesman for the paramilitary Indian Border Security Force.

"We responded to their fire effectively. The exchange of fire lasted for half an hour."

The nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars since 1947, but have been making tentative moves to revive a sluggish peace process that was broken off by New Delhi after the 2008  Mumbai attacks, which it blames on militants supported by Islamabad.

India accuses its neighbour of funding militant activity in Kashmir, which both sides claim in full, and has looked to use the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan this month to rachet up pressure on Islamabad to do more to tackle militancy.


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