Indo-Pak bor­der fir­ing leaves 11 dead, dozens in­jured

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

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.

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