Tensions escalating in Kashmir after Indian soldiers killed in Pakistani firing


  • India
  • Saturday, 02 May 2020

Vendors and buyers trading for fruits and vegetables at a wholesale market in Srinagar on Saturday (May 2). Two Indian soldiers were killed and another wounded in Pakistani firing in Kashmir, the Indian military said Saturday, as tensions continue escalating along the volatile and highly militarised frontier between the archrivals in the disputed Himalayan region. - AFP

SRINAGAR: Two Indian soldiers were killed and another wounded in Pakistani firing in Kashmir, the Indian military said Saturday (MAy 2), as tensions continue escalating along the volatile and highly militarised frontier between the archrivals in the disputed Himalayan region.

Pakistani soldiers late Friday targeted forward posts in the western Uri area along the Line of Control dividing Kashmir between the two countries, said Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman.

He said the attack was a violation of the 2003 cease-fire accord.

Kalia said two soldiers died at a hospital and another was wounded. Indian soldiers "retaliated strongly,” he said, a phrase used after almost every such confrontation.

Pakistan did not immediately comment. However, in the past, the countries have accused each other of starting border skirmishes in the divided region, which both claim in its entirety.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over their competing claims to Kashmir.

There has been almost daily fighting over last several months along the rugged and mountainous Line of Control, marked by coils of razor wire, watch towers and bunkers that snake across foothills populated by ancient villages, tangled bushes and forests.

On Wednesday, a Pakistani soldier and three civilians on both sides of Kashmir were killed in border fighting.

The fighting has seen the use of heavy artillery targeting civilian areas this year, leading to the killing and wounding of civilians as well as soldiers on both sides.

India has continued its counterinsurgency operations across Kashmir despite a lockdown to combat the coronavirus. Militants fighting against Indian rule also have not ceased their attacks on government forces and alleged informants.

Rebel groups in Indian-held Kashmir demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training anti-India rebels. Pakistan denies this, saying it offers only moral and diplomatic support to the militants and to Kashmiris who oppose Indian rule.

Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown. - AP
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