updated 7/28/2008 2:41:28 PM ET 2008-07-28T18:41:28

India said Monday that Pakistani troops crossed into its part of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and opened fire. Indian troops returned fire, and at least four soldiers were killed.

Indian army spokesman Brig. Gopala Krishnan Murali called the attack a "brazen violation of cease-fire."

One Indian soldier died and "three or four" Pakistani soldiers were killed in "retaliatory fire" in the Kupwara area of the region, Murali said.

Murali said that the body of one Pakistani soldier was still lying on the Indian side of the frontier and intermittent firing between troops continued.

There was no immediate comment from Pakistani officials.

The region has been the focus of two of the countries' three wars, since they were created in the bloody partition of the Indian subcontinent at independence from Britain in 1947, although the frontier had been largely quiet since a truce was declared in late 2003.

But cross-border shootings in the last few months have led to a familiar round of accusations, with each side blaming the other for violating the cease-fire and New Delhi accusing Islamabad of helping Islamic rebels sneak into its part of Kashmir.

Nearly a dozen Islamic rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, and India routinely accuses Pakistan of assisting the insurgents, a charge Islamabad denies.

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