Indian volunteers and officials carry an injured villager into the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu after she was injured in cross-border shelling in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, November 1, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
New clashes have erupted between Indian and Pakistani forces in the disputed Kashmir, reportedly leaving a total of 19 people dead.
On the Indian side of the Line of Control, the de facto border that separates the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir, seven people, including three women and two children, were killed in Pakistani shelling on Tuesday, a senior Indian police officer said.
On Monday, an Indian soldier and a civilian had been killed along the line of control in Kashmir in the Rajouri sector on the Line of Control, another Indian army spokesman added.
On the other side of the border Pakistan officials said at least four people had been killed and five injured on Monday.
Pakistan also said that six people had been killed and 10 injured in Nakyal and the adjacent Tatta Pani regions on Friday and Saturday.
“It appears as if a full blown war is going on between India and Pakistan,” said Mohammad Saeed, a resident of the village of Mohra in Pakistan’s Nakyal sector along the LoC.
“Please have mercy and stop it,” he said, speaking to media by telephone amid the sound of gunshots.
This image, taken at a hospital in Jammu on November 1, 2016, shows a doctor treating a man injured in cross-border shelling in the disputed region of Kashmir. (By AFP)
Tensions have been running high in the Himalayan region since September, when a cross-border raid on an Indian army base killed 19 soldiers, prompting what New Delhi called retaliatory “surgical strikes” against militants in Pakistan.
Each side accuses the other of repeatedly violating a 2003 ceasefire agreement.
Relations between Islamabad and New Delhi have also drastically deteriorated following recent tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats.
This photo, taken in Pakistan’s Lahore on October 27, 2016, shows protesters burning the Indian flag to show their support for the Kashmiri people. (By AFP)
The increase in tensions on both the military and diplomatic fronts has raised fears that the situation could escalate even further into a potentially devastating military showdown between the two nuclear-armed archrivals.
The two countries have already fought four wars, three of which were over Kashmir.
The region has been the bone of contention between the nuclear neighbors since their partition and independence from Britain in 1947.