Police say Indian mortar shells kills 6 civilians in Kashmir

Six people, including children, were killed Wednesday in Kotli village in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India and claimed by both in its entirety. (AFP)
Updated 27 February 2019

Police say Indian mortar shells kills 6 civilians in Kashmir

  • Latest civilian casualties came a day after tensions escalated sharply
  • Pakistan says Indian warplanes dropped bombs near the town of Balakot

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan: Pakistani police say mortar shells fired by Indian troops from across the frontier in the Himalayan region of Kashmir have struck homes, killing six civilians and wounding several others amid increasing tensions between the two South Asian nuclear rivals.
Local police official Mohammad Altaf says six people, including children, were killed Wednesday in Kotli village in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India and claimed by both in its entirety.
Pakistani and Indian troops deployed in Kashmir often trade fire.
The latest civilian casualties came a day after tensions escalated sharply following a pre-dawn airstrike by India that New Delhi said targeted a terrorist training camp in northwest Pakistan.
Pakistan says Indian warplanes dropped bombs near the town of Balakot but there were no casualties.


Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

Updated 09 December 2019

Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

  • Patrolling operations on respective sides are conducted by respective forces, military spokesman says
  • Last month, army chief visited Tehran for security talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army spokesperson on Monday rejected media reports suggesting that Pakistani and Iranian security forces conducted joint border patrolling.
“News published by Dawn today ('Pak-Iran Forces jointly conduct border patrolling') is factually incorrect,” Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, said in a tweet.
He added that “there is no joint patrolling anywhere on Pakistani borders” as “patrolling operations if required are always on respective sides by respective forces through coordination.”

The English-language daily reported earlier on the day that Pakistan and Iran had conducted another joint patrol on the border near Taftan town in Chagai district, Balochistan.
Soon after Ghafoor's comment, Dawn's editor Zaffar Abbas clarified that “the confusion was caused by the official news agency APP, as the picture caption said ‘joint patrolling.’ Radio Pak also tweeted the same. But we will be carrying out correction in light of your statement.”

Border security has long been a major cause of distrust in Pakistan-Iran relations. 
In April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the two countries would form a joint quick-reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, following a deadly attack on Pakistani security personnel on the coastal highway in southwestern Balochistan, where 14 soldiers lost their lives.
On Nov. 18, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Tehran for security talks with Iran's political leadership and military leadership.
In May this year, Pakistan began the fencing of certain areas along the 950-kilometer border it shares with Iran.