Border firing from Indian Kashmir kills 2 civilians: Pakistan army

October 24, 2016 1:00 pm

Indian army soldiers patrol near the highly militarized Line of Control dividing between and , in Pallanwal sector, about 75 kilometers from Jammu, India, October 4, 2016. (Photo by AP)

Pakistan’s army says Indian troops have opened fire and killed two civilians, including an 18-month-old girl, across the two countries’ de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir.
A statement said Monday that the “unprovoked” firing, which came overnight from three sectors near the Sialkot district in Pakistan’s Punjab Province, also wounded seven Pakistani villagers.
The shelling hit Harpal, Pukhlian and Charwah sectors along the disputed “working boundary,” which separates Pakistan’s Punjab Province from Indian-controlled Kashmir’s Jammu region, it said.
The Pakistani military also said its troops responded to the attack.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that an Indian soldier was also killed due to cross-border shelling on Sunday night.
Relations between the two countries have plummeted in recent months, with India blaming Pakistan for a raid on an army base in its part of disputed Kashmir in September that killed 19 soldiers.
Delhi responded with what it called “surgical strikes”, infuriating Islamabad.
Sunday night’s incident comes days after Indian border security forces said they shot dead seven Pakistani soldiers in retaliation for a ceasefire violation, with Pakistan refuting the claims.
Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in full by both, since the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947.
The restive region has witnessed an increase in mass protests and violent attacks since early July, when Burhan Wani, a top figure in a pro-independence group, was killed in a shootout with Indian troops.
As many as 55 people have so far been killed and several thousands of others injured during clashes between protesters and Indian security personnel.
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