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Central & South Asia
India reports 'border shooting'
Pakistan rejects claim as two nations prepare for first official talks since November 2008.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2010 12:02 GMT
There has been a spate of clashes in Kashmir in recent months, the latest one erupting on Tuesday [EPA]

Indian border guards say they have come under fire from Pakistan, a day before the two neighbours are set for the first official talks since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The alleged shooting took place on Wednesday in the Samba area of south Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan.

"The firing from across the border started early morning. A BSF personnel was injured," Vinod Sharma, a border guards spokesman, said, referring to the Border Security Force.

Pakistan denied any shooting by its troops.

"Our troops were not involved in any firing. There may be some problem on their own side," Nadeem Raza, a spokesman for Pakistan's paramilitary Rangers, said.

Area commanders from the two sides were due to meet later on Wednesday to settle the matter, Raza said.

The foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet on Thursday for talks that could eventually pave the way for the resumption of the formal peace process broken off after the Mumbai assault that killed 166 people.

Deaths in Sopore

There has been a spate of clashes in the past few months along the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing mostly Muslim Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

In the latest such incident, three Indian soldiers and three alleged fighters were killed in a 24-hour gun battle in Sopore, 55km northwest of Srinagar, Kashmir's main city, police said.

The fighting began early on Tuesday.

The soldiers and two suspected fighters were killed later the same evening, an Indian army spokesman said.

Another suspected fighter was shot dead on Wednesday, he said.

Source:
Agencies
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