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India, Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir for 18th straight day

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The armies of India and Pakistan once again targeted each other's positions on the line-of-control (LoC) in Kashmir on Tuesday, officials said.

The ceasefire violation took place in Bimber Gali (BG) area of frontier district of Poonch, around 185 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

"Pakistani army today again fired small arms and automatics on our positions at 3:00 p.m. local time in BG sector," said Col. R K Palta, Indian army spokesman. "Our side also retaliated to Pakistani firing with similar caliber weapons."

The skirmishes between the two sides are going on daily with Tuesday marking the eighteenth straight day of confrontation.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts.

According to Palta, no loss of life or damage was reported from Indian side during the skirmishes that lasted for 15 minutes.

Both India and Pakistan blamed each other for resorting to unprovoked firing that triggers skirmishes resulting in civilian or troop casualties on both sides.

The confrontation has heightened tension between New Delhi and Islamabad and overshadowed resumption of dialogue process.

New Delhi and Islamabad in 2003 agreed to observe ceasefire along the international border and LoC in Kashmir. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the ceasefire remains in effect.

Meanwhile, Indian army's chief of Northern Command Lt. General Sanjiv Chachra reviewed operational preparedness of army along the LoC, a defense spokesman said.

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