In­dian sol­diers killed in cross bor­der fir­ing

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

SRI­NA­GAR: The In­dian army said two of its sol­diers were killed yes­ter­day in the lat­est ex­change of cross bor­der fir­ing with Pak­istan along the de facto bor­der in Kash­mir, amid height­ened ten­sions be­tween the coun­tries. One sol­dier was killed in a fire­fight as In­dian troops pushed back against Pak­istani “in­fil­tra­tors” while an­other died in a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, ac­cord­ing to Army spokesman Colonel NN Joshi and a fur­ther state­ment from the mil­i­tary.

Ten­sions be­tween the nu­clear-armed ri­vals have soared since Septem­ber when mil­i­tants at­tacked an In­dian army base in Kash­mir leav­ing 19 sol­diers dead. Since then the two sides have ex­changed heavy fire al­most daily lead­ing to deaths of sol­diers and civil­ians on both sides of the bor­der. In­dia blamed the Septem­ber at­tack on Pak­istan-based mil­i­tants and re­sponded with “sur­gi­cal strikes” on what New Delhi de­scribed as ter­ror­ist launch­ing pads across the di­vid­ing line.

Pak­istan de­nied the strikes took place and the two sides have since ex­pelled diplo­mats from their coun­tries. The exchanges come against the back­drop of months of protests against In­dian rule of Kash­mir, sparked by the killing of a pop­u­lar rebel leader in a fire­fight with In­dian forces in July. The un­rest and clashes have left more than 90 civil­ians dead in gov­ern­ment forces’ ac­tion to quell the protests.

More than 12000 were in­jured, ac­cord­ing to hospi­tal au­thor­i­ties and around 7000 sus­pected pro­test­ers have been ar­rested dur­ing a con­tin­u­ing se­cu­rity crack­down to quell the anti-In­dia protests. Last week au­thor­i­ties on both sides closed hun­dreds of schools along fron­tier ar­eas in the south of the ter­ri­tory when cross-bor­der fir­ing killed 14 res­i­dents. Kash­mir is di­vided be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan since the end of Bri­tish colo­nial rule in 1947. Both claim the dis­puted Hi­malayan ter­ri­tory in full. In­dia reg­u­larly ac­cuses Pak­istan of arm­ing and train­ing the rebels to launch at­tacks on its forces in the por­tion of Kash­mir it con­trols. Is­lam­abad de­nies the al­le­ga­tions say­ing it only pro­vides diplo­matic sup­port to the Kash­miri strug­gle for right of self-de­ter­mi­na­tion.

— AP

IS­LAM­ABAD: A boy chants slo­gans next to his fa­ther dur­ing a demon­stra­tion called by a civil so­ci­ety group ‘Peace and Culture Or­ga­ni­za­tion’ to mark Jammu Martyrs Day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.