India, Pakistan clashes kill 11 in Kashmir

Roshan Mughal
·1-min read

Pakistani and Indian troops have clashed in disputed Kashmir, leaving 11 people dead - including three Indian soldiers - and wounding more than 30 others on both sides, officials say.

The fighting came amid increasing tension between the two countries.

In a statement, Pakistani military and government officials blamed India for initiating the fighting by firing rockets and mortar shells that killed five Pakistani civilians and wounded 27 others on Friday.

The statement called it the latest unprovoked incident of ceasefire violations by India and said Pakistani troops responded by targeting the Indian posts.

Raja Shahid Mahmood, a government official in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said several homes were damaged.

"People are running for safety in panic and India is deliberately targeting civilian population," he told the Associated Press.

Villagers were hiding in community bunkers and the exchange of fire had intensified, he said.

Mohammad Shabir, a shop owner in the border village of Chakothi, said officials shut the main bazaar after India targeted the village with rockets and people hid in bunkers.

In Srinagar, the capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, the Indian army said three of its soldiers were killed and three soldiers wounded.

According to police officer Mohammed Ashraf, three Indian civilians, including one woman, were also killed by Pakistani shelling.

He said one civilian was listed in critical condition at a hospital.

Two houses also were damaged in the shelling, Ashraf said.

Colonel Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman, blamed Pakistan for starting the clash.

In Pakistan, authorities said the exchange of fire between Pakistani and Indian forces started on Thursday and continued overnight in the Himalayan region that is split between both countries and claimed by both in its entirety.