Two killed in cross border fire along Kashmir front | News | DW | 13.05.2017
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Two killed in cross border fire along Kashmir front

The deaths are the latest along the volatile de facto border separating Indian and Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir. An uptick in violence raises concerns over a ceasefire between the two nuclear armed states.

Pakistani army shelling into Indian-controlled Kashmir killed two civilians and injured three more on Saturday, prompting Indian forces to fire back across the heavily militarized ceasefire line.

The civilians, a girl and her father, were killed by "indiscriminate" mortar fire on the Rajouri district on the Indian side of the de facto border known as the Line of Control, said Indian defense spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Manish Mehta.

"The Indian Army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively. The firing is presently on," Mehta said in a statement, adding that schools in the area had been closed.

The incident comes amid rising tensions along the Line of Control separating Indian and Pakistan-administered parts of Kashmir, where a fragile truce has been in effect since 2003.

Two people were killed, one on each side of the border, on Thursday. Earlier in the week, India accused suspected Pakistani-backed rebels of abducting and killing a military officer who was on leave, allegations Islamabad denied.

Read: Kashmiri youth: The new face of violent resistance against Indian rule

Kashmir has been divided between Pakistan and India since the end of British rule in 1947. The two nuclear armed states have fought three wars, two over the disputed territory that both claim.

India accuses Pakistan of backing Islamist rebels, who in recent months have carried out a number of attacks on government forces in the region. The increase in rebel activity has prompted Indian military operations in the area. 

The security situation in Indian-administered Kashmir has deteriorated since the killing of Burhan Wani, a young separatist leader, in July last year. Protests against Indian rule and clashes between separatists and soldiers have claimed hundreds of lives since then.

cw/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

 

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