Two civilians killed in Pakistan-India clashes in Kashmir

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Two civilians have been killed and three others injured in Indian-controlled Kashmir during armed clashes between the army forces of India and Pakistan in the disputed Himalayan region.

The Saturday clashes left a 13-year-old girl and a 51-year-old man dead in Nowshera sector along the highly-militarized Line of Control (LoC) that divides the region between India and Pakistan. More than 1,500 civilians are currently trapped in their homes in about 15 villages in the area.

Indian army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta claimed Pakistani soldiers had started shelling and firing at Indian military posts on Saturday morning.

Gun battle was still underway Saturday afternoon, Mehta noted.

Pakistan has not provided any immediate comments on the issue yet.

Indian and Pakistani forces have been engaged in similar clashes and traded fire across their de facto border in the disputed region over the past months. Each side accuses the other of provocation.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has been claimed in full by both India and Pakistan since the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947.

The restive region has witnessed an increase in mass protests and violent attacks since early July, when Burhan Wani, a top figure in a pro-independence group, was killed in a shootout with Indian troops.

As many as 100 people have so far been killed and several thousands of others injured during clashes between protesters and Indian security personnel.

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