Indian shelling kills two Pakistani civilians in Kashmir
A policeman aims a tear gas gun towards demonstrators during a protest in Kashmir.
Pakistan on Thursday said two of its civilians were killed and seven injured in Indian cross-border shelling in the disputed Kashmir region.
Senior government official Raja Tahir Mumtaz said the incident occurred in the Poonch sector along the Line of Control (LoC), the de-facto border that divides the Himalayan territory.
“These civilians were sleeping in their houses, one of the dead was a 65-year old,” Mumtaz said, adding that four women were among those injured.
Mohammad Ashfaq, a police official in the area, added that several houses were also damaged due to the mortar fire.
Nafees Zakariya, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman, confirmed the deaths in a press briefing in Islamabad and accused India of carrying out unprovoked ceasefire violations.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim it in full and have fought two wars over the mountainous region.
India said last week it had destroyed military bunkers being used to harbour militants in Pakistani territory, a claim denied by Islamabad.
It came after New Delhi accused Pakistan of murdering and mutilating Indian soldiers at the border.
Tensions reached dangerous levels again last September, with both sides blaming one another for cross-border raids.
There have since been repeated outbreaks of firing across the LoC, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including of civilians.