Indo-Pak border firing leaves 11 dead, dozens injured
At least 11 civilians were killed and several others wounded on Friday during an exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani border troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and Working Boundary in Sialkot's Charwah, Harpal, Chaprar and Sucheetgarh sectors.
According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel resorted to firing and shelling along the boundary. Earlier reports suggested seven Pakistanis were killed in firing and shelling by Indian forces, however, the military's media wing has confirmed the number as eight.
Rangers sources said the attacks along the Sialkot Working Boundary have mostly harmed civilians, adding that livestock belonging to residents of the area has been killed, while houses have been partially damaged.
Meanwhile, Indian officials claimed firing by Pakistani border guards along the boundary in Kashmir left three Indian civilians dead and at least 16 wounded.
Both sides claim that the other side had opened fire first. Simrandeep Singh, a local administrator on the Indian side, accused the Pakistani guards of unprovoked firing of small arms and mortars across the border in the R S Pura sector on Thursday night.
The Indian border guards returned fire, he said, adding that the injured Indian villagers have been evacuated to nearby hospitals. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his concerns over firing on Working Boundary with India. He also expressed condolence over loss of eight innocent lives and injuries to 47 others during the firing.
On the other hand, Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghawan was summoned at Foreign Office and strong protest was lodged with him over the working boundary violations by Indian Border Security Forces near Sialkot which resulted in the killing of civilians.
"Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry received the Indian envoy. He was conveyed Pakistan's protest and concern over continued LOC/working boundary violations," Foreign Office said in a statement.
Indian high commissioner was told that India has to honour ceasefire agreement of 2003 between the two countries.