Shelling across Pakistan-India border kills six civilians, wounds 30

A Pakistani paramedic treats a victim, who was wounded in cross-border shelling by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at a military hospital in Sialkot in Pakistan's Punjab province on September 22, 2017. (AFP / ARIF ALI)
Updated 22 September 2017
0

Shelling across Pakistan-India border kills six civilians, wounds 30

ISLAMABAD: Shelling along the disputed border between Pakistan and India killed six civilians, and wounded an additional 30 people, officials from the two sides said on Friday, in the latest confrontation between the two nuclear-armed countries.
The clash came on the heels of the two arch-foes trading accusations at the UN General Assembly in New York.
The firing took place across the frontier separating Pakistan's Punjab province from Indian-administered Kashmir's Jammu region, and most of the casualties were reported on the Pakistani side. Pakistan's military said six civilians were killed and 26 wounded.
"Pakistan Rangers Punjab befittingly responded on posts targeting civil population," the Pakistan army's public relations wing said in a statement.
Indian police officials in Jammu said the ceasefire was violated by Pakistani forces, who injured four civilians on the Indian side.
Both countries claim Kashmir, and have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region, which they have disputed since partition and independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
In July, four soldiers were killed when Indian shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) that separates parts of Kashmir held by both countries struck a Pakistani army vehicle. Indian officials denied any knowledge of the incident.
In May, India accused Pakistani forces of killing two soldiers patrolling the line and mutilating their bodies. Pakistan's military denied the allegations and said it had not committed ceasefire violations.
Both sides have previously accused each of violating the ceasefire and of beheading soldiers in the past.
On Thursday in New York, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urged the UN secretary-general to appoint a special envoy for Kashmir. He accused India's military of brutality in a crackdown against anti-India activists. Hundreds of Kashmiris have been killed or injured and shotgun pellets have blinded and maimed others, he said.
India rejected the allegation, terming Pakistan a home to terrorism that harbors violent militants.
India accuses Pakistan of backing several anti-India militant groups and helping them infiltrate the Kashmir to stoke violence and carry out terrorist acts. Pakistan denies the charge.


At least 37 Maoists killed in jungle raids in India

Updated 1 min 43 sec ago
0

At least 37 Maoists killed in jungle raids in India

NEW DELHI: Police said Tuesday that dozens of Maoist guerrillas had been killed in jungle raids in India’s remote interior by commandos fighting the country’s longest-running conflict.
Ambushes on rebel camps over the past two days in forest deep inside the western state of Maharashtra have left at least 37 fighters dead, police said.
In the latest raid six guerrillas, including four women, were killed in a shootout late Monday in Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra state’s head of anti-Maoist operations Sharad Shelar said.
Police also seized weapons and ammunition from the encampment, roughly 900 kilometers east of the state capital Mumbai, he added.
On Sunday special commandos had surrounded a rebel camp in forests within the same district and fought approximately 100 guerillas, police said.
Sixteen bodies were recovered from the scene, but police later pulled another 15 corpses from the nearby Indravati River of fighters they said had drowned or succumbed to injuries.
Many of the slain rebels were women, police said.
India’s Maoist insurgency began in the 1960s, inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, and has cost thousands of lives in almost daily incidents of violence.
Thousands of armed men and women — also known as Naxals — claim to be fighting for the rights of the indigenous tribal people, including the right to land, resources and jobs.
The Maoists are believed to be present in at least 20 Indian states but are most active in forested resource-rich areas in the states of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
Gadchiroli is a key transit point for Maoist guerrillas, connecting western India with central and southern states in a restive tranche known as the “red corridor.”
Last month eight members of the security forces were killed in Chhattisgarh after suspected rebels blew up their vehicle with a land mine.
Two soldiers were killed last week in a similar explosion in the central state.