Source Pravda.Ru

Flare-up in Kashmir

India has blamed Pakistan for the frontier clashes in the last three days that have left 25 dead.

Seventeen Islamist militants, seven Indian soldiers, and one civilian have been killed in border clashes on the frontier between Indian Kashmir and Pakistan.

The Indian Defence Ministry claims that the tension building up in the region degenerated into violence after the visit of US Secretary of State Colin Powell to New Delhi.

The fighting started on Wednesday afternoon with an exchange of light machine-gun fire and continues today, according to an Indian Defense Ministry spokesperson, who also claims that the weaponry in use is escalating.

Commander C.K. Aggarwal of the Indian Armed Forces accused Pakistan of having started the fighting, to which the Indian Army was forced to make “appropriate reprisals." “For the first time, Pakistan has used automatic grenade launchers and heavy weapons, firing at civilian areas," he declared.

Pakistan continues to define the Indian troop movements in the border area as “a threat," in the words of the Pakistani Defence Ministry.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL