Pakistan says 7 soldiers killed by Indian shelling

In this Nov. 4, 2016, photo, a Pakistani Kashmiri shows an Indian mortar shell that hit his house in cross-border shelling in Peer Klanjer, Pakistan. The Pakistani military on Monday said seven soldiers were killed in the latest cross-border fire in Kashmir by Indian border guards. (AFP file photo)
Updated 14 November 2016
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Pakistan says 7 soldiers killed by Indian shelling

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistani military accused India on Monday of killing seven soldiers in cross-border fire in disputed Kashmir, in what appeared to be an unusually high toll after months of surging tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
“Seven (Pakistani) soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom) at the Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber sector in a crossfire LOC violation by Indian troops late last night,” the military said in a statement.
“Pakistani troops while responding to Indian unprovoked firing targeted Indian posts effectively.”
There was no immediate response to the allegation from Indian officials.
Tensions across the long-disputed de facto Himalayan border reached dangerous levels in September, when India blamed Pakistani militants for a raid on an army base that killed 19 soldiers.
India said it had responded by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the heavily militarized border, sparking a furious reaction from Islamabad, which denied the strikes took place.
There have since been repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including of civilians, though the deaths of seven soldiers in what appeared to be one such incident is relatively high.
The two sides have also expelled diplomats in a tit-for-tat row that has even spilled into the glamorous world of Bollywood.
The border skirmishes come against the backdrop of months of protests against Indian rule of Kashmir, sparked by the killing of a popular rebel leader in July.
Nearly 90 people, most of them young protesters, have been killed in clashes with security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir since then.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over the mountainous region.


Fire sweeps through Bangladesh slum, nine dead

Updated 17 February 2019
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Fire sweeps through Bangladesh slum, nine dead

  • Fires regularly break out in Bangladesh’s slums, where millions live in squalid living conditions

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh: A fire tore through a slum in southern Bangladesh on Sunday killing at least 9 people and destroying hundreds of shanty homes, police said.
The blaze broke out in the port city of Chittagong at about 3.30 A.M. and raced through the district of bamboo, tin and tarpaulin homes, said local police chief Pranab Chowdhury.
“At least 470 shanties were destroyed by the fire. So far 9 people have died. They included four members of a family,” fire brigade official Hefazatul Islam said.
Fires regularly break out in Bangladesh’s slums, where millions live in squalid living conditions.
Rights groups have in the past alleged some shanty town blazes were deliberate acts of sabotage by developers seeking to free up property to construct multi-story buildings.
“We have seen fires are used as a weapon to evict poor slum dwellers and squatters from government or private property,” rights activist Nur Khan Liton said.