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‘Pakistani forces open fire on BSF posts’ Two Indian border guards, 2 civilians injured: official

SRINAGAR, India, Aug 11, (AFP): Indian police on Monday accused Pakistan of injuring four people during firing along their border in Kashmir, on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the disputed region. Police said overnight firing lasting several hours in the RS Pura sector on the recognised border injured two Indian border guards and two civilians. “The Pakistani forces opened fire on BSF posts which lasted two hours from 10 pm last night,” Inspector General of Police in Jammu, Rajesh Kumar, told AFP Jammu is the most populous district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. India’s paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) patrols the internationally recognised border in Kashmir, which runs south of the disputed frontier in the region.

Kumar said Pakistani soldiers fired heavy weapons and mortars and the Indian side responded. Modi is due to visit the Ladakh region, high in the mountains of Kashmir, on Tuesday and address soldiers posted on the remote Siachen Glacier, dubbed the world’s highest battlefield. India, which captured the commanding peaks in 1984, sees the glacier as vital to monitor Pakistani positions below and important for the defence of its part of Kashmir. Pakistani troops have tried but failed to seize control of the sliver of territory, where sub-zero temperatures and high altitude have caused countless deaths. Modi is expected to inaugurate two hydro power stations in nearby Leh and Kargil during the visit, his second to the disputed region since sweeping to power in May.

India and Pakistan often accuse each other of violating a border ceasefire which has largely held since 2003. Despite the truce, firing along the disputed de facto border called the Line of Control, that separates Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani sectors, has occurred sporadically since 2003. Both India and Pakistan claim the region in full and have fought two of their three wars over its control. Since 1989 fighting between Indian forces and rebels seeking independence or merger of the territory with Pakistan has killed tens of thousands, mostly civilians.

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