India accuses Pakistan of cross-border firing

Indian frontier troops Saturday accused their Pakistani counterparts of firing at least four rockets across the border into northern Punjab but said there were no casualties.

The incident is the second since September when two rockets allegedly fired by Pakistani troops landed near the popular tourist attraction of Wagah in Indian Punjab.

Border Security Force (BSF) officials said two of the cross-border rockets exploded in farms on the Indian side while the remaining two did not detonate.

"No casualty has been reported," a BSF official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Frontier commanders from both sides met to discuss the alleged shelling, he said in the Sikh pilgrimage city of Amritsar.

There was no immediate comment available from Islamabad but the BSF official said Pakistani commanders at the meeting denied firing the rockets.

The Indian army meanwhile claimed cross-border firing at Kashmir's disputed borders early Saturday and said it occurred during an unsuccessful attempt by alleged Pakistani militants to sneak into Indian territory.

"There was firing by the Pakistanis before the militants tried to breach fencing along our borders," army major general Surendra Nath said in Jammu, Indian Kashmir's winter capital.

Nath said Indian soldiers foiled the infiltration bid.

The BSF in Kashmir claimed a rocket was also fired from Pakistan into the Indian zone of the divided Himalayan region.

There were no casualties, officials said, adding that a high security alert was sounded following the failed infiltration attempt.

Tension between the two neighbours flared in the wake of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, which India blamed on Pakistan-based militants and "official agencies" of Pakistan, a charge Islamabad has denied.

Exchanges of fire were routine along the disputed border in Kashmir until a 2003 ceasefire agreement between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

Since the Mumbai attacks there have been sporadic small arms exchanges.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over Kashmir, which is claimed by both.

 

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