Pakistan: Indian cross-border fire kills girl in Kashmir

Pakistan: Indian cross-border fire kills girl in Kashmir
Above, a Pakistani security outpost along the so-called Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 13 September 2020

Pakistan: Indian cross-border fire kills girl in Kashmir

Pakistan: Indian cross-border fire kills girl in Kashmir
  • ‘Unprovoked firing’ targeted Pakistani border villages of Hotspring and Rakhchikri
  • Nuclear-armed neighbors each claim the divided Kashmir region in its entirety

ISLAMABAD: An 11-year-old girl was killed and four other villagers critically wounded by Indian troops firing into the Pakistani-administered side of the Kashmir region, Pakistan’s military said on Sunday.
The military said the “unprovoked firing” by India troops using long-range guns and artillery targeted the Pakistani border villages of Hotspring and Rakhchikri Friday night along the so-called Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
The Pakistani military said a 75-year-old woman was among the four civilians wounded. The military said its forces responded by firing at Indian army posts, without elaborating.
Pakistan’s foreign office said it summoned India’s diplomatic representative to protest the cross-border firing.
In June, Pakistani officials blamed Indian troops for killing four villagers in the Pakistan region of Kashmir. Days later, they said Indian shelling again had killed a 13-year-old-girl and wounded her mother and brother.
The nuclear-armed neighbors each claim the divided Kashmir region in its entirety. Pakistan and India often trade fire in the disputed Himalayan region, with both blaming the other side for initiating the fire.
They have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since independence from British rule in 1947.
Tensions have soared between Pakistan and India since August 2019, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government revoked Muslim-majority Kashmir’s decades-old semi-autonomous status, touching off anger in Indian-controlled Kashmir and in Pakistan.


Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

Updated 37 min 48 sec ago

Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

COTABATO, Philippines: Dozens of militants aligned with the Daesh group opened fire on a Philippine army detachment and burned a police patrol car in a southern town but withdrew after troops returned fire, officials said Friday.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in Thursday night’s brief attack by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Datu Piang town. Nevertheless it sparked panic among residents and rekindled fears of a repeat of a 2017 militant siege of southern Marawi city that lasted for five months before being quelled by government forces.
“We are on top of the situation. This is just an isolated case,” regional military commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said in a statement.
Security officials gave differing statements on the motive of the 30 to 50 gunmen. Some said the militants targeted Datu Piang’s police chief over a feud but others speculated that the militants wanted to project that they are still a force to reckon with by attacking the army detachment in the center of the predominantly Muslim town.
Officials denied earlier reports that the militants managed to seize a police station and burn a Roman Catholic church.
When reinforcement troops in armored carriers arrived and opened fire, the militants fled toward a marshland, military officials said.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters is one of a few small armed groups waging a separatist rural insurrection in the south of the largely Roman Catholic nation. The groups opposed a 2014 autonomy deal forged by the largest Muslim rebel group in the south with the Philippine government and have continued on and off attacks despite being weakened by battle setbacks, surrenders and factionalism.
The armed groups include the Abu Sayyaf, which has been blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization for kidnappings for ransom, beheadings and bombings.