ISLAMABAD, (Reuters) – Indian forces resorted to “unprovoked firing” on Pakistani positions in the disputed Kashmir region but there were no casualties in the rare clash between the rivals, the Pakistani military said on Saturday.
Relations between the nuclear-armed rivals have been tense since militants attacked the Indian city of Mumbai in November, killing nearly 170 people. India said the militants were Pakistanis and must have had support from Pakistan.
“The firing started from the Indian side at around 10 p.m. (1700 GMT on Friday) and intermittent firing continued for several hours,” said a Pakistani military official who declined to be identified.
A “strong protest” had been lodged with India, the military said. There was no immediate Indian response.
The two countries, which have fought three wars since 1947 and nearly went to war a fourth time in 2002, agreed to a ceasefire in Kashmir in 2003, paving the way to peace talks and better relations beginning in 2004.
Exchanges of fire across a line separating the two sides in Kashmir have been rare since then.
Pakistan used to support militants battling Indian forces in the Indian part of the divided Himalayan region but began to rein in the rebels several years ago.
India says the gunmen who attacked Mumbai were from a militant group set up with the support of Pakistani security agents to fight in Kashmir.
Pakistan denies any link between any state agency and the Mumbai attackers and is investigating the assault on the city.