Civilians killed, injured as Indian, Pakistani troops clash

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Islamabad (dpa) – Three Pakistani civilians were killed by mortar shells when Indian and Pakistani troops clashed Monday on the Punjab border, the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad said.

An Indian diplomat was summoned to protest against the “deplorable” act, the ministry said.

Exchange of artillery fire was continuing, security officials said.

Six Indian civilians were injured in a separate exchange in the disputed region of Kashmir, according to reports in Indian media.

Last week, US President Barack Obama urged nuclear-armed rivals to show restraint and resume dialogue to lower tensions when he met Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the White House.

Dozens of civilians and soldiers have been killed on both sides in periodic clashes since 2013.

India and Pakistan accuse each other of violating a 2003 ceasefire agreement in Kashmir, a region administered in part by each country but claimed in its entirety by both.

Observers warned that border clashes could scupper efforts to normalize relations between India and Pakistan, who have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

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