Indian soldiers, Pakistani civilians among dead in Kashmir clash

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By Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, India, Oct 20 (Reuters) - India said on Sunday two soldiers and a civilian were killed in cross-border shelling with Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir region, while Islamabad said six died on its side, making it one of the deadliest days since New Delhi revoked Kashmir's special status in August.

Three Indian civilians were injured and some buildings and vehicles destroyed because of several hours of heavy shelling by both sides in the Tanghdar region in northern Kashmir late on Saturday night, a senior police official said.

Pakistan said 6 of its civilians were killed and 8 wounded in the clash.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.

There was an unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Tanghdar sector, said Indian defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia.

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"Our troops retaliated strongly causing heavy damage and casualties to the enemy," Kalia said.

Indian forces in occupied Kashmir have gone "berserk", Raja Farooq Haider, prime minister of Pakistan's Azad Kashmir region, said in a tweet, adding that the civilian casualties and injuries were in the Muzaffarabad and Neelum districts.

"This is the height of savagery. The world must not stay silent over it," he said in his tweet with the hashtag #KashmirNeedsAttention.

Tensions between the two countries have flared and there has been intermittent cross-border firing since Aug. 5 when New Delhi flooded Indian Kashmir with troops to quell unrest after it revoked the region's special autonomous status. (Additional reporting by Abu Arqam in Muzaffarabad Writing by Aditi Shah; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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