In­dian, Pak­istani troops ex­change fire in Kash­mir

The Myanmar Times - - World -

GUN bat­tles raged on the dis­puted bor­der be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan in Kash­mir, two days af­ter a deadly raid on an army base that New Delhi blamed on Pak­istan-based mil­i­tants.

Eigh­teen sol­diers died in the Septem­ber 18 at­tack, which was the worst of its kind to hit the di­vided Hi­malayan re­gion in more than a decade and has in­creased hos­til­ity be­tween the nu­clear-armed neigh­bours.

Pak­istan has re­jected claims as “un­founded”.

US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry ex­pressed con­cern over the vi­o­lence in Kash­mir, urg­ing both sides to re­duce ten­sions.

“The sec­re­tary re­it­er­ated the need for Pak­istan to pre­vent ter­ror­ists from us­ing Pak­istani ter­ri­tory as safe havens,” the State Depart­ment said af­ter Mr Kerry met Pak­istan Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif in New York.

Colonel Ra­jesh Kalia of the In­dian army said there had been a “cease­fire vi­o­la­tion” near Uri, where the Septem­ber 18 at­tack took place, but gave no fur­ther de­tails. Uri is near the In­dia’s Line of Con­trol (LoC) which di­vides the dis­puted ter­ri­tory.

Colonel Kalia said troops in the same area had blocked an at­tempt by sus­pected mil­i­tants to cross the LoC into In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir.

“A group of 10 to 12 ter­ror­ists at­tempted to in­fil­trate the Uri sec­tor. They were in­ter­cepted and the in­fil­tra­tion bid was foiled,” he told AFP.

The Press Trust of In­dia said 10 sus­pected mil­i­tants had been killed in the in­ci­dent but this could not im­me­di­ately be con­firmed.

An­other army spokesper­son said they were bat­tling an un­known num­ber of mil­i­tants in Nowgam sec­tor, south of Uri, who were try­ing to sneak into the In­dian side on the heav­ily mil­i­tarised bor­der.

“This sec­ond in­fil­tra­tion bid has also been foiled and the op­er­a­tion is on­go­ing. Un­for­tu­nately we lost one sol­dier there,” Colonel Man­ish Ku­mar said, ad­ding there was no in­for­ma­tion about any other ca­su­al­ties.

The ex­change on Septem­ber 20 was the first since the army base raid by sus­pected Pak­istan-based mil­i­tant group Jaish-e-Mo­ham­mad.

Sev­eral rebel groups have fought an es­ti­mated 500,000 In­dian forces de­ployed in the ter­ri­tory, de­mand­ing in­de­pen­dence for the Mus­lim­ma­jor­ity re­gion or its merger with Pak­istan.

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple have died in the fight­ing, most of them civil­ians. –

Photo: AFP

In­dian Mus­lims shout anti-Pak­istan slo­gans while protest­ing in Mum­bai on Septem­ber 20 fol­low­ing a mil­i­tant at­tack on the Uri army base in In­di­anad­min­is­tered Kash­mir that killed 18 In­dian sol­diers.

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