Fresh India-Pakistan fighting kills 8, mostly civilians
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Fresh India-Pakistan fighting kills 8, mostly civilians

The flare-up that began late on Friday and continued into early hours of Saturday came as the two nuclear-armed neighbors have been locked in one of their most serious confrontations over decades. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in a first round of fire from the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, according to Pakistani military officials. Pakistani authorities said a boy was killed and three were wounded in a village near the LoC in heavy Indian shelling that also destroyed several homes. On the other side of the border, two siblings and their mother were killed after a shell fired by Pakistani soldiers hit their home in the Poonch region, according to authorities in the Indian-controlled Kashmir who said the father of the family had also been critically injured in the attack. Pakistani military said in a statement early on Saturday that two civilians were killed and two others were wounded after Indian forces resumed shelling and firing of small arms after a lull that had lasted a few hours. The fighting comes days after a relative ease in tensions between India and Pakistan which started following an attack on February 14 on Indian soldiers in Kashmir. The attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops prompted India to launch air strikes on suspected militant positions inside Pakistani side of Kashmir. Pakistan responded by launching its own air attacks into India while it arrested and then released a pilot of one of the Indian fighter jets. Pakistan has consistently denied any involvement in militant attacks in the Indian-administered Kashmir, a Muslim-dominated region in the Himalayas where most of the people demand independence or a merger with Pakistan. Pakistan and India have fought two wars over Kashmir as the two claim the region in its entirety. In a fresh peace gesture, a Pakistani minister said on Saturday that a train service linking the two neighbors would resume on Monday after several days of suspension.

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