Nine civilians killed on India, Pakistan border

2015-08-28 17:10
An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard on a deserted street during curfew in Srinagar, India. (Dar Yasin, AP)

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard on a deserted street during curfew in Srinagar, India. (Dar Yasin, AP)

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Islamabad - At least nine civilians were killed overnight as Indian and Pakistan troops exchanged fire across the disputed border in the Kashmir region, officials said.

It was the highest single-day toll since the current round of hostilities broke out in 2013.

Six Pakistani villagers including a woman and a child were killed by mortars and bullets fired by Indian troops from across the border near Pakistan's eastern city of Sialkot, a military statement said.

Nearly 50 people, almost half of them women, were injured, the statement added.

On the Indian side, near a different part of the de facto border, three Indian civilians including a woman were killed when Pakistan Rangers used automatic weapons and mortar bombs to target posts of the Border Security Force (BSF) from midnight early Friday, a security official said.

In Sialkot, the sporadic fire exchanges were still continuing at several points, said an official of the Chenab Rangers, a Pakistani force that mans the border in Punjab province.

Footage on Pakistani television channels showed several houses destroyed by mortars, and walls pierced by bullets.

Several thousand people were shown fleeing their houses for safety, packed in crowded vehicles, on motorbikes and by foot.

Pakistan and India last week cancelled a scheduled meeting of their national security chiefs, which was to aim to lower tensions after nearly 100 civilians and soldiers have been killed on both sides in the past two years.

India and Pakistan accuse each other of violating a 2003 ceasefire agreement, a region each country administers half of, but claims in its entirety.

The two countries have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.  

Read more on:    india  |  pakistan

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