India, Pakistan exchange gunfire over border

India Kashmir Border Attacks

Indian villagers look at an abandoned and damaged car allegedly caused from firing from Pakistan side at Garkhal village near the India-Pakistan international border, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Jammu, India, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. An Indian official says at least 10 civilians have been wounded as Pakistani troops fired guns and mortar shells at more than a dozen Indian border posts overnight in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Indian and Pakistani troops fired machine guns and mortar shells over the border in Kashmir, wounding at least 12 people — including children — as the disputed region sees some of the most serious tensions in a decade, officials said Friday.

A 2003 cease-fire between the nuclear-armed neighbors has largely held for the past 10 years, although sporadic violations are common. In recent days, however, the skirmishes have escalated significantly.

Both India and Pakistan have reported an increase in the number of cross-border attacks since the current Pakistani and Indian prime ministers held their first face-to-face meeting last month in New York and agreed on the need to reduce tensions.

The latest violence started Thursday night at about two dozen border posts along the frontier. As in most cases of firing along the border, India and Pakistan accused each other of initiating the fighting.

Shantmanu, an Indian civil administrator in Kashmir who uses only one name, said 10 civilians, including four children, were wounded.

In Islamabad, Pakistani military officials said Indian troops fired first, wounding two civilians. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military policy.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry called the cease-fire violations “a matter of great concern.”

Read Full Article…