North Korea fired over 200 shells onto the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing two South Korean marines, wounding a score of others, damaging over 60 buildings, and prompting a retaliatory strike of about 80 shells from South Korean artillery.
Reports say the 1,000 civilian residents of Yeonpyeong were led to bunkers during the North Korean strike.
The U.S. has condemned the attack and the major regional powers — the U.S., China, Russia — are calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
North Korea claims that South Korea fired first. South Korea, in turn, said it was engaged in military exercises off its west coast, and fired test shots as part of those drills. But the shots, they say, were aimed west, not north.