In­dian shelling kills 3 in ‘dis­puted Kash­mir’

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Three peo­ple were killed and five wounded yes­ter­day in In­dian shelling across the dis­puted bor­der with Pak­istan in the Hi­malayan re­gion of Kash­mir, Pak­istani of­fi­cials said, as ten­sion sim­mers be­tween the nu­clear-armed neigh­bors. Feel­ings have run high since July, when In­dian se­cu­rity forces killed a young Kash­miri fighter in In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir, prompt­ing months of protests and a cor­re­spond­ing se­cu­rity crack­down that has claimed more than 80 lives.

“There has been in­tense shelling in Nakyal sec­tor since morn­ing,” said Pak­istani of­fi­cial Sar­dar Zee­shan Nisar, con­firm­ing the death toll. Two peo­ple were wounded, he added. Nisar ac­cused In­dian forces of tar­get­ing civil­ians in their fir­ing across the dis­puted bor­der. Shelling also took place in the Neelum Val­ley of Pak­istani-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir, hit­ting a ve­hi­cle near the vil­lage of Dan­jar and wound­ing three peo­ple, said lo­cal of­fi­cial Sar­dar Wa­heed.

The In­dian mil­i­tary said that it had fired in re­sponse to Pak­istani fir­ing in the Poonch dis­trict yes­ter­day morn­ing, but did not com­ment on re­ports of ca­su­al­ties. An In­dian de­fense spokesman said Pak­istani forces had fired 120mm and 82mm mor­tars, as well as au­to­matic weapons, across the Line of Con­trol, and al­leged they had tar­geted In­dian posts and civil­ian ar­eas. Both coun­tries claim all of Kash­mir, but ad­min­is­ter sep­a­rate parts, di­vided by a de­facto bor­der. They have fought two of their three wars since in­de­pen­dence from the Bri­tish in 1947 over the ter­ri­tory.

Ten­sion built fur­ther in Septem­ber, when 18 In­dian sol­diers were killed at an army base in In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir, in an at­tack Delhi blamed on Pak­istan­based mil­i­tants. Pak­istan de­nied that it was in­volved in that at­tack. Sev­eral days later, In­dia said it had car­ried out “sur­gi­cal strikes” on mil­i­tant bases across the bor­der, a claim Pak­istan termed “an il­lu­sion”. Last week, both coun­tries ex­pelled each oth­ers’ di­plo­mats, and named a num­ber of oth­ers as be­ing in­volved in spy­ing. Vi­o­la­tions of a 2003 cease­fire on the de­facto bor­der have reg­u­larly oc­curred in the last two months. In the lat­est ma­jor vi­o­lence, at least 19 peo­ple were killed on both sides in shelling last week.—

— AP

KASH­MIR: A Kash­miri man car­ries a wounded pro­tester af­ter he was hit by a tear gas shell dur­ing the funeral of Qaiser Sofi in Sri­na­gar, In­dian con­trolled Kash­mir.

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