Pakistan: Indian fire kills 1 soldier in Kashmir

Pakistani troops patrol near the Line of Control in Chakothi sector, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on August 29, 2019. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 27 September 2020

Pakistan: Indian fire kills 1 soldier in Kashmir

  • India and Pakistan routinely accused each other of unprovoked attacks along the tense Kashmir frontier
  • Pakistan says India has violated the truce more than 2,000 times this year alone

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military said Sunday that Indian troops opened fire across the border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing one soldier.
In a statement, it said Pakistani troops responded by targeting the Indian posts where the fire originated, causing “substantial damage” on the Indian side but gave no details.
The Indian army said its troops “befittingly” responded to Pakistani firing and shelling along the Line of Control on Saturday in southern Rajouri district. It reported no damage or casualties.
India and Pakistan routinely accused each other of unprovoked attacks along the tense Kashmir frontier in violation of a 2003 cease-fire agreement. Pakistan says India has violated the truce more than 2,000 times this year alone.
Kashmir is split between the nuclear-armed rivals and both claim it in its entirety. They have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
Tensions soared in February 2019, when a suicide bombing killed 40 Indian troops in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, and India retaliated with airstrikes inside Pakistani territory. Pakistan shot down one of the warplanes in Kashmir and captured a pilot who was quickly released. India said the strikes targeted Pakistan-based militants responsible for the suicide bombing.
Relations have been further strained since August last year, when India revoked the Muslim-majority region’s decades-old semi-autonomous status, touching off anger on both sides of the frontier. Since then, troops have frequently traded fire, leaving dozens of civilians and soldiers dead on both sides.


Danish PM in tears after visiting mink farmer whose animals were culled

Updated 26 November 2020

Danish PM in tears after visiting mink farmer whose animals were culled

COPENHAGEN: Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen broke down on Thursday when visiting a mink farmer who lost his herd following the government’s order this month to cull all 17 million mink in the country to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Frederiksen has faced opposition calls to resign and a vote of no confidence in parliament after an order by the government in early November, which it later admitted was illegal, to cull the country’s entire mink population.
The order was given after authorities found COVID-19 outbreaks at hundreds of mink farms, including a new strain of the virus, suspected of being able to compromise the efficacy of vaccines.
“We have two generations of really skilled mink farmers, father and son, who in a very, very short time have had their life’s work shattered,” Frederiksen told reporters after a meeting with a mink farmer and his son at their farm near Kolding in Western Denmark.
“It has been emotional for them, and... Sorry. It has for me too,” Frederiksen said with a wavering voice, pausing for breath in between words.
The move to cull Denmark’s entire mink population, one of the world’s biggest and highly valued for the quality of its fur, has left the government reeling after it admitted it did not have the legal basis to order the culling of healthy mink.
After a tumultuous couple of weeks since the order was given on Nov. 4, the Minister of Agriculture, Mogens Jensen, stepped down last week after an internal investigation revealed a flawed political process.
Denmark has proposed a ban on all mink breeding in the country until 2022. Tage Pedersen, head of the Danish mink breeders’ association, said this month the industry, which employs around 6,000 people and exports fur pelts worth $800 million annually, is finished.
Denmark’s opposition says the cull of healthy mink should not have been initiated before compensation plans were in place for the owners and workers at some 1,100 mink farms.