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Shelling kills 4 in Kashmir

An injured survivor is taken on a stretcher following an explosion
An injured survivor is taken on a stretcher following an explosion

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SRINIGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir (CNN) -- Indian troops said heavy Pakistani shelling killed an Indian soldier and three others Sunday when one round hit a bus across the Line of Control that divides the disputed Himalayan territory.

In addition, police said four people died in a bombing in a town near the border Sunday.

Indian army sources told CNN that Pakistani troops fired at least 100 artillery shells across the Line of Control within two hours Sunday. Three people were killed and five wounded when one shell hit a Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation bus, the army said.

Another shell killed an Indian soldier Sunday afternoon in the Uri sector of Kashmir, the sources said.

Sources also said shells hit the towns of Davar, destroying 18 stores, and Achipora, gutting one home. Nine family members in the home had a miraculous escape, the sources said.

Pakistani officials denied the reports. Maj. Gen. Shauket Sultan said Pakistani troops were observing World Peace Day, as declared by the United Nations, and had not fired.

Another four people, including an Indian intelligence officer, died Sunday when a bomb exploded in a marketplace in the town of Rajouri, police said. The explosion wounded another 27 people, many critically.

Most of the casualties were civilians, police said.

Rajouri is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the city of Jammu, near the U.N.-drawn border separating Indian-controlled parts of the region from Pakistani-controlled areas.

Indian and Pakistani gunners periodically exchange fire across the Line of Control in Kashmir, the flashpoint of two wars between the two countries since their independence from Britain in 1947.

The two countries -- both of which tested nuclear weapons in 1998 -- went to the brink a third time in 2002, after an attack on India's parliament building that New Delhi blamed on Islamic militant groups backed by Pakistan.

More than a dozen guerrilla groups have been battling Indian rule in Kashmir almost since independence from Britain and the creation of Pakistan. Indian officials estimate 38,000 people have been killed during the 11-year military insurgency and blame Pakistan for stoking the fires, a charge Islamabad denies.

-- Journalist Mukhtar Ahmed in Srinagar and CNN's Ram Ramgopal in New Delhi contributed to this report.


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