Pakistan says Indian shells kill 3 civilians in Kashmir

Pakistan says Indian shells kill 3 civilians in Kashmir
A Kashmiri villager jumps over scattered apple boxes at the site of an attack in Shopian, south of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Gunmen on Thursday shot and killed an Indian truck driver and his attendant and wounded another driver as they fired at three vehicles laden with apple boxes in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani officials say Indian troops have fired mortar shells across the Line of Control that divides the disputed Kashmir region, killing three civilians and wounding three others.

Raja Shahid Mehmood, a deputy district commissioner, said Friday that Pakistani troops returned fire when Indian shells struck homes Thursday in Neelum Valley in Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India and claimed by both.

In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it lodged a protest with an Indian diplomat over the latest civilian casualties and “unprovoked cease-fire violations” by India. There was no immediate comment from India.

Pakistan and India often exchange fire in Kashmir, but tensions increased on Aug. 5, when India downgraded the autonomy of its side of Kashmir.

The two sides often accuse each other of initiating fire.