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Pakistan: 2 killed in border clash with India

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KARACHI, Pakistan

A Pakistani army soldier and a civilian were killed in a clash along the Kashmir border with India, the military said on Tuesday.

The clash, the latest in a string of border skirmishes, took place along the Line of Control (LoC) — a de facto border that splits the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir between the two longstanding rivals.

“Indian Army resorted to unprovoked fire in Baroh and Tandar Sectors along LOC targeting civilian population. A 15-year-old boy embraced shahdat [martyrdom]while four civilians including a woman and an 80-year-old male got injured,” said a statement from the Pakistan Army.

Pakistan Army troops responded with retaliatory firing. “Reports of substantial damage to Indian posts in men and material. In intense exchange of fire, Sepoy Shafique fighting valiantly embraced shahadat,” the army added.

Responding to Anadolu Agency’s query, the Indian Army spokesperson, however, denied any injuries or casualties.

Islamabad also summoned Indian Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia to the Foreign Ministry following the incident, according to an official statement.

Already strained relations between the two South Asian nuclear powers have further flared up after India scrapped the special provisions of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, New Delhi and Islamabad have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups have been fighting against the Indian rule for independence, or for unification with Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands have been killed and tortured in the conflict that flared up in 1989.

*Cheena Kapoor contributed to this report from New Delhi

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