Fire ex­changed across India-Pak­istan bor­der

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

INDIA and Pak­istan have ac­cused each other of vi­o­lat­ing a cease­fire along the Line of Con­trol — the de facto bor­der — sep­a­rat­ing the two South Asian ri­vals.

The In­dian army said on Wed­nes­day that one of its sol­diers was killed by Pak­istani sniper fire in the Machil sec­tor of In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir.

The In­dian army said two of its sol­diers were killed in a sep­a­rate Pak­istani at­tack a day ear­lier in Naushera sec­tor.

Army spokesman Colonel Ra­jesh Kalia said that the In­dian sol­diers re­tal­i­ated by tar­get­ing the Pak­istan army posts across the Line of Con­trol, or LoC, that di­vides the dis­puted Kash­mir re­gion be­tween the two na­tions.

On Wed­nes­day, Pak­istan ac­cused India of a cease­fire vi­o­la­tion af­ter at least four of its civil­ians were killed in cross-bor­der fir­ing.

The dead in­cluded a 10-year-old girl and her mother, ac­cord­ing to Pak­istan’s for­eign min­istry, which said that a se­nior In­dian diplo­mat was sum­moned for the “un­pro­voked cease­fire vi­o­la­tion on Novem­ber 8”.

Seven oth­ers were also injured in the in­ci­dent, which oc­curred in the Khuirata and Bat­tal sec­tors of Pak­istan-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir.

In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, In­dian troops shot dead two sus­pected fight­ers in a gun bat­tle in the So­pore area of In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir af­ter re­ceiv­ing a tip-off.

“Two ter­ror­ists were killed and two weapons were re­cov­ered from their bod­ies,” Colonel Kalia said.

The latest ex­changes of fire come as ties worsen be­tween the nu­clear-armed ri­vals.

Ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries have soared since Septem­ber when fight­ers at­tacked an In­dian army base in Kash­mir, leav­ing 19 sol­diers dead.

Since then the two sides have en­gaged in cross­bor­der fire al­most daily lead­ing to the deaths of sol­diers and civil­ians on both sides.

New Delhi blamed the Septem­ber at­tack on Pak­istan-based armed groups and at­tacked what it called “ter­ror­ist launch­ing pads” along LoC in re­tal­ia­tory strike.

Pak­istan de­nied the strikes took place and the two sides have since ex­pelled diplo­mats from their coun­tries in a tit-for-tat row.

The bor­der at­tacks come against the backdrop of months of protests against In­dian rule in Kash­mir, sparked by the killing of a pop­u­lar rebel leader in July.

Nearly 90 peo­ple, most of them young pro­test­ers, have been killed in clashes with se­cu­rity forces in In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir since then.

Kash­mir has been di­vided be­tween India and Pak­istan since the end of Bri­tish colo­nial rule in 1947. Both claim the Hi­malayan ter­ri­tory in full and have fought two wars over the moun­tain­ous re­gion. — Al Jazeera

Kash­miris have stepped up their calls for independence from In­dian rule as they ac­cuse In­dian forces of se­vere abuses. — EPA

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