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At Least Four Killed In Exchange Of Fire In Kashmir

Kashmiris collect their belongings amid the debris of their homes that were reportedly destroyed by cross border shelling from Indian troops, in Neelum Valley, situated at the Line of Control in the Pakistani administered Kashmir on December 23.

At least four people have been killed in an exchange of fire between Pakistani and Indian forces in the tense Himalayan region of Kashmir, the two sides say.

Pakistani military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said on December 26 that two Pakistani soldiers were killed and claimed that three Indian troops were killed in the crossfire.

However, Indian Army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said an Indian officer and a civilian were killed in firing along the Line of Control, the de facto frontier that separates the two sides in the disputed region.

Exact details could not immediately be confirmed.

Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-led India have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, two of which were over control of Kashmir, which is claimed in full by both countries.

A decision by New Delhi in August to revoke the special constitutional status of Indian-controlled Kashmir and impose a security lockdown sparked new tensions between the South Asian rivals.

Islamabad claims that New Delhi seeks to launch cross-border attacks on Pakistan to divert international attention from alleged human rights violations in Kashmir and tensions with its own minority Muslims.

New Delhi denies the allegations.

With reporting by AP