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Indian cross-border firing kills two in Pakistan: officials


Two civilians were killed and two others wounded after Indian troops fired into Pakistani Kashmir Wednesday, officials said, causing Islamabad to summon its neighbour’s envoy in protest at an alleged rise in cross-border violence.

The latest incident at the frontier between the nuclear-armed rivals took place in a village in Abbaspur sector on the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing Kashmir between Pakistan and India.

“A brother and a sister were killed and two other women were wounded in firing by Indian troops,” local government official Qaiser Aurangzeb told AFP.

Later Wednesday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry lodged “a strong protest on the unprovoked ceasefire violation”, summoning India’s deputy high commissioner.

The ministry said in its statement that Indian forces have increasingly targeted Pakistani civilians in the past two weeks, killing 13 civilians and wounding 39 others.

It added that in 2017 to date, at least 45 Pakistanis have been killed, with India carrying out “more than 900 ceasefire violations” along the de facto border in disputed Kashmir, compared to 382 ceasefire violations in 2016.

Wednesday’s incident came a day after four people were killed in an hours-long gunbattle with militants attacking a paramilitary camp outside the capital of Indian Kashmir.

All three militants were killed, Indian police told AFP, blaming the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group for the attack next to Srinagar airport.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but both claim the territory in full.

For decades rebel groups have fought Indian soldiers deployed in the part of the territory controlled by New Delhi, demanding independence or a merger of the former Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.

The rival armies routinely target each other across the heavily militarised Line of Control that divides the territory, and Aurangzeb said that intermittent “unprovoked firing” by Indian troops in the area was continuing.

Another local government official, Tahir Mumtaz, confirmed the firing and casualties.

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