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Both Sides in India-Pakistan Conflict Claim Shelling Deaths

Tensions continue after Indian fighter pilot released by Pakistan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2019 5:30 AM CST
In this image, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman crosses the border into India from Wagah, Pakistan, on Friday.   (PTV via AP)

(Newser) – A Pakistani government official says Indian troops with heavy weapons have "indiscriminately targeted border villagers" along the two nations' Line of Control in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing a boy and wounding three others. The official, Umar Azam, said Saturday that Pakistani troops are "befittingly" responding to the Indian fire, per the AP. He says several homes were destroyed in Pakistan's part of Kashmir, which is split between them and claimed by both in its entirety. Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since their independence from British rule in 1947.

Saturday's exchange of fire came a day after Pakistan handed over captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to India as a "gesture of peace" to defuse tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors over the disputed Kashmir region. Meanwhile, officials say two siblings and their mother have been killed in cross-border shelling between Indian and Pakistani soldiers in disputed Kashmir. Indian police say the three died overnight after a shell fired by Pakistani soldiers hit their home in the Poonch region near the so-called Line of Control that divides the Himalayan territory of Kashmir between the two nuclear-armed rivals. (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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