The resumption of hostilities were sparked after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government recently called off the first formal talks with Pakistan in two years.

The resumption of hostilities were sparked after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government recently called off the first formal talks with Pakistan in two years.

Four civilians were killed on Saturday after Indian and Pakistani forces fired on each other along the border of the disputed Kashmir region, the highest toll on non-military personnel since five were killed in October.

Two Indian villagers lost their lives in Pakistani gunfire aimed at military posts in the Ranbir Singh Pura region of Jammu and Kashmir state south of Srinagar in the past two days, an official at the Border Security Force said.

On the Pakistani side, a man and woman were fatally shot by Indian gunfire near Sialkot, a senior Pakistani army officer said.

The resumption of hostilities took place after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government on August 18 called off the first formal talks with Pakistan in two years, citing Pakistan's "negative approaches and attempts to interfere in India's internal affairs."

Border disputes and terrorism have stifled attempts to boost trade ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours, which share a fifth of Earth's population.

While the nations have a 3200 kilometre border and mutually understandable languages, trade is less than 0.5 percent of India's combined commerce with other nations, government data show.

Pakistan has violated a cease-fire agreement with India along their disputed border 54 times this year through July 16, and 19 times since the Modi government took office on May 26, Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley said last month. Pakistan violated the pact 199 times last year.

"This is a fact that of late, these cease-fire violations by Pakistan have increased," Jaitley said yesterday at the unveiling of a new warship broadcast on the NDTV 24x7 television channel. The nation's armed forces "will effectively respond to each violation."

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended Modi's inauguration in New Delhi in May, a gesture many analysts regarded as a boost to cross-border relations and raised hopes for more talks. The nations resumed peace talks three years ago that had been shattered in a 2008 attack by Pakistani militants on a Mumbai rail station and hotels that killed 166 people.

The renewed hostilities about 300 kilometers south of Srinagar take place as Sharif faces increased pressure from opposition parties accusing him of rigging last year's election.

Opposition leader Imran Khan, together with a prominent religious cleric, rallied tens of thousands of supporters to go on a march from Lahore to Islamabad. They remain camped in front of parliament, saying they won't leave until Sharif steps down.