World Bulletin / News Desk
At least three civilians were killed and another six injured earlier this week in a fresh flare-up between Pakistani and Indian forces only one month after the South Asian rivals had agreed to ease simmering border tensions.
The casualties -- which included two children -- have prompted residents of the border regions to seek safety elsewhere amid fears of further clashes.
According to a spokesman for Pakistan’s border force, Indian forces on Sunday carried out “unprovoked” shelling of border villages -- which, he said, had continued intermittently -- along Pakistan’s northeastern Sialkot and Shakargadh districts.
The Pakistani border force, he added, had responded “accordingly” to the Indian shelling.
The spokesman went on to say that over 50 homes in the area had been severely damaged by the artillery barrages, while more than five dozen heads of cattle had also been killed.
At a meeting last month in Indian capital New Delhi, the chiefs of the two rival border forces agreed to ease mounting tensions along the border, which over the last three months have claimed dozens of lives from both sides.
While the two nuclear rivals signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, the deal is often subject to violations.
A recent spate of border flare-ups, which began in July, has focused mainly along the “Line of Control” that separates the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which both countries currently hold in part.
- Canceled talks
Tensions have mounted between the two arch-rivals since the cancellation this summer of planned bilateral security talks and with the recent celebration by both countries of the 50th anniversary of a 1965 war in which they both claimed victory.
Since the cancellation of the planned security talks, military chiefs from both sides have employed escalating rhetoric regarding their countries’ preparedness for war.
The planned talks were called off in August after India objected to Pakistan consulting with pro-independence leaders from Indian-held Kashmir and insisting the Kashmir dispute be included on the agenda of talks.
The two nuclear rivals have been locked in several disputes over land and sea boundaries since Pakistan was established at the end of British rule and the partition of India in 1947.
Since then, India and Pakistan have faced off in three wars, two of which were fought over Kashmir.Last Mod: 27 Ekim 2015, 17:12