Indian and Pakistani forces have once again traded deadly fire at the disputed Kashmiri border following a brief period of calm there.
India’s Border Security Force said two of its troops were killed and several civilians injured after Pakistani border rangers in Sialkot fired into the New Delhi-controlled part of Kashmir on Sunday.
“The injured soldiers were immediately evacuated to a military hospital where they later succumbed (to their injuries),” Indian border force’s spokesman Manoj Yadav said in Jammu, the winter capital of the restive Himalayan region.
Indian forces said they returned fire after being attacked by the Pakistani side.
Pakistan did not immediately comment on the Indian report or whether any damage had been sustained on its side of the border.
Just four days ago, Pakistan and India agreed to honor a 2003 ceasefire in Kashmir and end truce violations.
The two sides agreed to respect the conditions laid out in the ceasefire “in letter and spirit” following some of the highest levels of violence in Kashmir since the pact was signed.
Both sides blame each other for violating the 15-year ceasefire.
Dozens have been killed in border clashes in recent months along the border that divides the territory into zones of Indian and Pakistani control, leaving residents terrified.
The renewed commitment to the ceasefire had encouraged thousands of civilians to return to their homes after weeks of shelling.
Kashmir has been divided between the two sides since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both sides claim the Himalayan region in full.
However, many people in New Delhi-controlled Kashmir, who are mainly Muslims, are opposed to Indian control and seek either autonomy or merger with Pakistan.
New Delhi accuses Islamabad of supporting pro-independence militants, an allegation rejected by the Pakistani government.
Islamabad, in turn, is critical of India's heavy military deployment to Kashmir and its crackdown against the region's Muslim population.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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