roops of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire and mortar shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir on Monday, officials said.

The two sides targeted each other's positions and civilian areas in frontier Rajouri district, about 222 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

"This evening Pakistani troops violated cease-fire and resorted to unprovoked firing, targeting forward posts and civilian areas in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri," an Indian army official claimed. "The exchange started at 4:15 p.m. (local time) and is going on since then."

The Indian media has not reported any loss of life in today's firing, and Pakistani authorities have not reported a loss of life either.

Last week five civilians were wounded and several houses damaged in a similar exchange of fire between the two sides on the LoC in Tanghdar sector of frontier Kupwara district, about 153 km northwest of Srinagar.

There has been a sharp increase in cease-fire violations along the LoC and International Border (IB) in Kashmir during the past three months. The heavy firing and shelling have triggered panic among the residents along the LoC, many of whom have migrated to safer places. Recent skirmishes claimed lives of civilians and troopers on both sides of the divide.

New Delhi and Islamabad accuse each other of resorting to unprovoked firings and violating cease-fire agreements. And both sides maintain their troops gave befitting reply to the other side.

The LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts.