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Exchange of fire between India, Pakistan continue in Kashmir

The cross-border firing between Indian and Pakistani troops continued for the fourteenth straight day on Friday on the line-of-control ( LoC) in Kashmir, officials said.

"Pakistani troops again targeted our forward posts by resorting to unprovoked firing in Balnoi sector of Poonch," said Col. R K Palta, Indian army spokesman. "Our troops retaliated effectively to Pakistani firing."

The firing started Thursday at 7.20 pm (local time) and continued until 4.30 am on Friday, according to Palta.

"There was no loss of life or damage on our side because of the firing," said Palta.

Both sides used small arms, automatic weapons, mortars and heavy machine guns to target each other's positions.

Both India and Pakistan have accused each other of violating ceasefire that triggers skirmishes resulting in civilian or troop casualties on both sides.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts.

On Aug. 6, five Indian soldiers were killed and another wounded in a deadly ambush near Sarla in Poonch. India accused Pakistani troops of entering into its territory and carrying out the attack, a charge Pakistan denied.

Following the incident a surge in ceasefire violations on LoC was recorded.

So far three Paksitani troopers including an officer have been killed by Indian firing on LoC.

The killings and skirmishes on LoC have come at a time when New Delhi and Islamabad try to normalize ties and resume the talks. The confrontation has heightened tension between New Delhi and Islamabad and overshadowed resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue process.

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.

In January this year similar skirmishes between the two armies claimed lives of five troopers (two from India and three from Pakistan).

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