- Cross-border exchanges are first to occur since army officers from both sides met last month in hopes of easing tensions
By Ahmad Adil
SRINAGAR, Jammu & Kashmir - A civilian was killed and two others were wounded when Indian and Pakistani troops traded fire over the weekend in the Samba area of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.
According to Indian officials, the exchanges occurred in two different parts of Samba.
“Pakistan began firing on our nine border outposts on Friday evening,” a senior official from India’s Border Security Force said. “We retaliated strongly.”
He went on to assert that Pakistani troops had also “targeted one village in Samba” on Saturday.
This weekend’s cross-border exchanges were the first to occur since senior army officers from both countries met in New Delhi last month in an effort to ease tensions.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since the former was partitioned in 1947. Two of the three conflicts were fought over Kashmir, one part of which is also held by China.
Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in Indian-held Kashmir have fought against Indian rule. They demand either independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 Kashmiris have been killed so far in the violence, most of them by Indian forces.
India currently has over half a million soldiers deployed in Indian-held Kashmir.