SRINAGAR, Indian-Controlled Kashmir, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- An Indian army trooper was killed Saturday in skirmishes between troops of India and Pakistan on Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir.
The two sides fired on each other's positions on Friday night in Keran sector of frontier Kupwara district, about 130 km northwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"One soldier succumbed to his injuries last night in cease-fire violation in Keran Sector," a senior Indian army official said.
According to officials Indian army also retaliated to the firing from Pakistan and the exchange lasted for hours together.
On Wednesday a trooper was killed in a similar exchange in Machil sector of the district.
The past several weeks have seen a surge in skirmishes on International Border (IB) and LoC between the two countries. Apart from troop casualties, the firing has claimed civilian lives on both sides, besides prompting migrations of residents from frontier areas. Officials have ordered closure of 174 schools in frontier areas in wake of shelling.
Both New Delhi and Islamabad accuse each other of resorting to unprovoked firings and violating cease-fire agreements. And both sides maintain that their troops gave befitting reply.
The troops of India and Pakistan intermittently exchange fire on 720 km-long LoC and 198 km IB in Kashmir, despite an agreement in 2003 to observe a cease-fire. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the cease-fire however remains in effect.
LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts.
Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.