Two children killed as India, Pakistan trade fire in Kashmir

Indian soldiers are seen outside an army camp at Nagrota, in the outskirts of Jammu, Nov. 29, 2016. (AP)
Updated 02 October 2017
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Two children killed as India, Pakistan trade fire in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India: Two children were killed on Monday in an exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops in disputed Kashmir, Indian authorities said.
Twelve more civilians, including two women and two teenage girls, were wounded on the Indian side of the heavily-militarised Line of Control (LoC) that divides the restive Himalayan region.
A police statement said firing from Pakistan had killed a 10-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl.
Indian army spokesman Col. N. N. Joshi said soldiers were retaliating after “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars” from the Pakistan side in the southern Poonch sector of the LoC.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947, and both claim the territory in full.
The nuclear-armed neighbors regularly exchange mortar fire across the border despite signing a cease-fire in 2003.
Tensions reached dangerous levels in September last year, with both sides blaming one another for cross-border raids.
There have since been repeated outbreaks of firing across the frontier, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including to civilians.
Pakistan said over the weekend that two civilians had been killed in firing across the LoC.
Last month it said a five-year-old girl had been killed when she was hit by a bullet fired from the Indian side.
New Delhi says Pakistan initiates cross-border firing to help anti-India rebels cross into Indian-administered Kashmir to launch attacks on its forces.
Islamabad denies the allegation and says it only provides diplomatic support to the Kashmiri struggle for the right to self-determination.


North Korean envoy en route to Hanoi ahead of Trump-Kim summit: report

Updated 4 min 11 sec ago
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North Korean envoy en route to Hanoi ahead of Trump-Kim summit: report

  • Kim Hyok Chol arrived in Beijing Tuesday morning and was expected to board a plane bound for Hanoi later in the day
  • Kim Hyok Chol and his US counterpart Stephen Biegun were engaged in three days of talks in Pyongyang earlier this month
SEOUL: The North Korean special representative for the US arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, apparently en route to Vietnam to meet his Washington counterpart ahead of a second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.
Kim Hyok Chol arrived in the Chinese capital at around 10 am (0200 GMT) and was expected to board a plane bound for Hanoi later in the day.
His trip comes three days after Kim Jong Un’s de-facto chief of staff, Kim Chang Son, landed in Hanoi to discuss protocol and security matters with the US team ahead of the summit on February 27-28.
Kim Hyok Chol and his US counterpart Stephen Biegun were engaged in three days of talks in Pyongyang earlier this month, exploring each side’s positions on denuclearization ahead of the much-anticipated meeting.
Biegun said they had been productive, but more dialogue was needed.
“We have some hard work to do with the DPRK between now and then,” Biegun said, adding that he was “confident that if both sides stay committed, we can make real progress here.”
The US State Department said talks during Biegun’s trip explored Trump and Kim Jong Un’s “commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming US-DPRK relations and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
Specifically, discussions on declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War could have been on the table, with Biegun last month saying Trump was “ready to end this war.”
Alex Wong, US deputy assistant secretary of state for North Korea, is already in the Vietnamese capital preparing for the summit.
Biegun is expected to fly there soon from Washington to resume talks with Kim Hyok Chol.
Experts say tangible progress on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons will be needed for the second summit if it is to avoid being dismissed as “reality TV.”