At least 10 civilians have been killed and more than 50 others wounded, as India and Pakistan traded fire across their disputed border, officials have said. The fighting on the border on Friday comes less than a week after planned security talks between India and Pakistan were cancelled amid a dispute over the intended parameters of the meeting. Aljazeera reports:
Six died near the city of Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province and at least four villagers were killed in Indian-administered Kashmir. Both sides have pinned the blame on each other for Friday’s exchange of fire.
A senior Pakistani security official told the AFP news agency that Indian forces began firing around 3am local time on Friday and continued intermittently during the morning.
“Six civilians embraced shahadat [martyrdom] and 46 were severely injured including 22 females due to Indian unprovoked firing/shelling on working boundary near Sialkot in Chaprar and Harpal sector,” a statement from the Pakistani military said, adding that they had returned fire.
Rakesh Kumar Sharma, a Border Security Force (BSF) official in Indian-controlled Kashmir, accused Pakistan of specifically targeting civilians with “unprovoked” mortar fire.