Wave of deadly attacks across Kashmir
Artillery fire and shelling from India targeted several Pakistani villages and struck a passenger bus near the dividing line in the disputed region of Kashmir yesterday, killing 12 civilians wounding more than a dozen others, the Pakistani military said.
Hours later, Pakistan’s military said three soldiers, including an army captain, were killed while responding to the Indian attack. It said seven Indian soldiers were also “killed in retaliatory fire” but there was no confirmation on the casualties from India.
The violence marks the latest escalation in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is divided between the two nuclear-armed neighbours and claimed by both.
According to Deputy Commissioner Waheed Khan, an artillery shell hit a passenger bus in the scenic Neelum Valley in the Pakistani part of Kashmir, killing 10 people – three died on the scene and seven later, at a hospital. Another two civilians died when a mortar shell hit their house in the Nakyal sector in Kotli district, said police official Waseem Khan. The shelling sent residents fleeing in panic, he said.
At least 15 people were also wounded in the bus strike and elsewhere in yesterday’s attacks. Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said the country’s Cabinet expressed grave concern over the latest escalation.
Sardar Masood Khan, the president of the Pakistanigoverned part of Kashmir, denounced “India’s aggression” in a statement and appealed to the international community to take notice of India’s ceasefire violations in Kashmir. He also urged the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan, or UNMOGIP, to “investigate these incidents and assign responsibility for these violations of ceasefire”.
VICTIM: An injured man is treated in Kashmir