Seven killed in India-Pakistan cross-border shelling
Five people died on Pakistan’s side of the disputed border and 10 were wounded in cross-border shelling while two civilians were killed and two injured on the Indian side.india Updated: Jul 09, 2017 15:36 IST
Seven people were killed in Kashmir in cross-border shelling by both Pakistan and India on Saturday, officials on both sides of the frontier said, as the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani raised tensions in the region.
The violence occurred as hundreds of militants and political activists took to the streets in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir to commemorate the death of Burhan Wani.
A Reuters witness saw protesters holding Pakistani flags and banners and shouting slogans lauding the sacrifice of Wani and others, while pledging to carry on the holy war in Kashmir.
“Jihad is our path, freedom is our destination,” they shouted while holding up portraits of the slain militant.
Another Reuters witness saw demonstrators wearing face masks throwing stones at police in downtown Srinagar. Police retaliated with teargas and stones thrown using slingshots.
Authorities blocked internet access in Kashmir on Friday and sealed off his home town after Wani’s supporters said they would stage demonstrations to mark the anniversary.
Five people died on Pakistan’s side of the disputed border and 10 were wounded in cross-border shelling, local police officials told Reuters.
Pakistan’s government said it summoned India’s deputy high commissioner JP Singh over what it called “unprovoked ceasefire violations”.
The Indian army’s defence spokesman said two civilians were killed on its side of the frontier and two injured due to shelling by Pakistani troops. The army responded in kind to the Pakistani shelling, he said.
Militant commander leads protest
India has been struggling to restore normality in Kashmir, deploying thousands more soldiers after Wani’s killing appeared to breathe new life into a 28-year armed revolt that had ebbed, with little international attention.
Syed Salahuddin’s, a Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant commander, whom Washington last week added to a list of global terrorists, called for a strike on Saturday to mark Wani’s killing and led the protest in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
Syed Salahuddin’s United Jihad Council vowed to continue its struggle to liberate Kashmir and called upon Islamabad to support their efforts “militarily.”
“Diplomatic, moral and political support will not work anymore,” he said, addressing a large crowd gathered in an open space in Muzaffarabad.
He said a tripartite dialogue between India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris to resolve the dispute in accordance with UN security council resolutions, will be welcomed.