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The Independent Online
Four people were killed and five injured, including a young child, when the Indian army fired mortars and rockets into villages in Pakistani- controlled Kashmir over the weekend, police said yesterday.

According to officers one woman died of her wounds in a hospital in Kotli and three people were killed on the spot by what they called unprovoked firing across the line of control dividing the disputed territory.

Police made public the incident yesterday on the day that the Indian government said masked gunmen killed 23 Hindus in Indian Kashmir at the weekend at Ganderbal, a village 27km (17 miles) from the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state.

At least 12 militant groups are fighting for Kashmir's independence or merger with Pakistan. Islamabad denies giving them military support and says it gives only diplomatic aid.

Some 15 people in Pakistani- controlled Kashmir have been killed and 20 injured in similar firing incidents across the line of control since 31 August last year, police said.

New Delhi regards the whole of Kashmir as an integral part of the Indian union. But Islamabad says the predominantly Muslim Kashmiris must decide in a United Nations-mandated plebiscite whether to join Muslim Pakistan or Hindu-majority India.

- Reuters