Cross-border shelling kills 8 civlians on India-Pakistan war anniversary

SRINAGAR, India/LAHORE, Pakistan - Cross-border firing between India and Pakistan killed at least eight people on Friday, the day India marked the 50th anniversary of a war between the two South Asian nations.
On the Pakistani side of the frontier, five civilians were killed and 48 were treated for wounds in hospital in the town of Sialkot, a spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers said.
India's Border Security Force said three civilians had died and 22 were wounded in firing across the frontier in the northern Jammu region. Both said the other side had opened fire first.
"Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing. Initially, small arms were used but later mortar bombs were shelled on BSF posts and civilian areas," a BSF spokesman said. "The BSF also gave a fitting reply."
Pakistan Rangers spokesman Major Waheed Bukhari gave a different account, saying that unprovoked firing had started overnight from the Indian side. It was followed by retaliation from the Rangers.
The accounts could not be independently verified, but tensions have been running high between the nuclear-armed neighbors since peace talks that were due to be held last weekend were called off at the last minute.
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