Three women killed as India, Pakistan trade fire

India and Pakistan regularly trade fire along the border, parts of which are disputed

Three female civilians and a soldier have been killed in cross-border firing by the Indian and Pakistani armies, officials said Thursday, taking the death toll along the frontier to 13 this week.

Police in India said they had evacuated villagers living near the firing, which had killed an Indian soldier and a woman civilian in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir state late Wednesday.

Meanwhile a statement from the Pakistan army said Indian soldiers had fired on villages across the border in Sialkot in Punjab province late on Wednesday, killing two women.

Both sides regularly trade fire along the border, parts of which are disputed, and civilian casualties are common.

But this week has been particularly bloody.

On Monday Pakistan said four of its soldiers were killed during Indian firing along the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC), the disputed section of the border in southern Kashmir.

Also Monday, Indian soldiers killed five suspected militants who they said were trying to infiltrate from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

India frequently accuses Pakistan of sending fighters across the LoC to launch attacks on its soldiers in Kashmir, which has been divided between the two nuclear-armed neighbours since partition in 1947.

Islamabad denies the allegations.