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Kashmir cross-border fire kills 4, including Indian soldier

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The undated photo shows soldiers deployed along the Line of Control (LoC), the militarized de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Cross-border clashes in Kashmir between India and Pakistan have killed four more people, including an Indian soldier.

Indian Army spokesman Colonel N.N. Joshi said Saturday a soldier had been killed in Poonch sector, located along the Line of Control (LoC), the militarized de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid said a 15-year-old boy and another civilian were killed in a separate cross-border assault outside the LoC and along the frontier that separates Kashmir from the Pakistani province of Punjab.

A 60-year-old Pakistani civilian was also killed across the border, Pakistan's foreign office said in a statement. It added that two civilians, including a six-year-old, were also injured. The statement indicated that cross-border clashes had killed four Pakistani civilians in the previous two days.

The deaths add to the increasing number of casualties from a new wave of unrest along the LoC and other parts of Kashmir in India and Pakistan. The Himalayan region is claimed in its entirety by the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

At least 21 people have been killed this week, most of them in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, where Indian authorities accuse elements supported by Pakistan of involvement in rebel attacks. Islamabad has always denied any support but reiterates it backs the popular drive in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir for independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Each side summoned diplomats from the other country on Friday to protest the provocations that have renewed hostilities across the border. That came after Indians said two soldiers and two civilians had been killed by mortars fired from the Pakistani side.

The decades-long conflict in Kashmir has left some 70,000 people killed.


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