22 September 2021

7 Indian, 3 Pakistani armies killed in fresh clash

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Pakistani army claimed on Tuesday that the force had killed seven members of its Indian counterpart in a fresh clash along the disputed Kashmir border, a claim discarded by New Delhi, Anadolu Agency reported.   

In a statement, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistani army's media wing, accused Indian border guards of rising cease-fire violations during the last 48-72 hours along the Line of Control (LoC), a de facto border that divides the disputed Himalayan valley between the two countries.

"Pakistan’s Army is responding befittingly, which has caused heavy damage on the Indian side. The exchange of fire has damaged many Indian posts, [and] killed 7 Indian soldiers while 19 [were] injured," the statement claimed.

Three Pakistani soldiers were also killed in the clash, the ISPR said.

Lt. Col. Devender Anand, Indian Defense Ministry spokesman, however, said that an Indian border officer and two civilians, including a 5-year-old girl, were killed on Monday in the clash, which occurred after a break of only a couple of weeks.

At least 18 others, including four armed forces personnel, were also wounded, Anand told reporters.

“At about 7:45 am [on Monday, 0215GMT], Pakistan’s army initiated unprovoked cease-fire violation by shelling with mortars and firing of small arms along the LoC in the Shahpur and Kerni areas of the Poonch district. Indian troops retaliated effectively,” he said.

The two longtime rivals have been locked in diplomatic and military tensions following a suicide attack on an army convoy in Indian-administered Kashmir in February that killed at least 40 Indian troops.

New Delhi accuses Islamabad of colluding with militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, which reportedly claimed responsibility for the brazen attack. Pakistan denied the charge.

Tensions mounted further after Indian jets intruded into Pakistan's airspace and bombed a suspected militant hideout near the border in February.

The next day, Pakistan’s air force claimed downing two jets and captured a pilot, who was later released.

The two South Asian nuclear powers have fought three wars in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir -- since they were partitioned in 1947.

Kamruzzaman


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