Monday, 6 October 2014

Kashmir: Nine civilians killed in India, Pakistan border firing

India and Pakistan have accused each other of resorting to unprovoked firing along the disputed border, in which at least nine civilians have been killed.
Five civilians died after Pakistani troops fired shells in Indian-administered Kashmir, India said.
Pakistan said four civilians had been killed in firing by Indian troops in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but the neighbours often accuse each other of violating it.
In August India cancelled talks with Pakistan after accusing it of interfering in its internal affairs.
Last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first speech at the UN, said he wanted peace talks with Pakistan but insisted it must create an "appropriate atmosphere".
Officials of India's Border Security Force said Pakistani soldiers fired guns and mortar shells at 10 of its border posts and some villages in the Arnia area in Jammu district over the weekend, leading to the deaths of its civilians. Thirty others, including women and children, have been injured.
A Pakistani military statement said Indian troops had fired guns and mortar shells at five places in Sialkot along the disputed boundary, resulting in the deaths of four civilians, including two children and a woman.
ndian villagers sit near a blood stained spot after alleged mortar shell firing from the Pakistan side into a residential area at Masha da kothe village, in Arnia Sector near the India-Pakistan international border, 6 October Officials said they were evacuating people from Arnia to underground bunkers and shelters
An Indian official told the AFP news agency that the firing from Pakistani troops began on Sunday night and it was "continuing intermittently".
Most of the casualties on the Indian side happened when shells landed near a bus stand and houses in Arnia.
"I have never seen such massive firing. Bombs were falling on houses," Vijay Kumar, one injured villager, told the NDTV news channel.
Officials said they were evacuating people from Arnia to underground bunkers and shelters.
"There is panic. We're trying to give them a sense of security and temporary shelters," Jammu's top official Shantmanu told the Associated Press news agency.
The recent incidents along the border comes more than a decade after the two countries agreed a tenuous ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border that divides Kashmir between them.
India has long accused Pakistan of sponsoring militants in the disputed region - though the violence has declined since the early 2000s.
Claimed by both countries in its entirety, Kashmir has been a flashpoint for more than 60 years. The South Asian rivals have fought two wars and a limited conflict over the region.