Pakistani teen 'shot dead by Indian forces'

Pakistani military says 13-year-old girl in Sialkot killed during skirmish between security forces near Kashmir.

    Skirmishes between India and Pakistan often result in civilian casualties along the Line of Control [AFP]
    Skirmishes between India and Pakistan often result in civilian casualties along the Line of Control [AFP]

    Pakistan's military says Indian border guards' "unprovoked firing'' near the disputed border region of Kashmir has killed a 13-year-old girl and wounded a child.

    A statement released by the Pakistan military on Saturday said the teenager was killed in the city of Sialkot, during an exchange of fire between Pakistani para-military troopers and India's Border Security Force (BSF) along the Line of Control (LoC) that began on Friday night.

    Both Pakistan and India blamed each other for starting the firefight. This latest violence comes after Islamabad accused Indian forces of killing two of its soldiers Wednesday in a crossfire that also killed an Indian soldier. 

    The Pakistani military said that Indian forces violated the cease-fire agreement between the two countries with an unprovoked barrage of artillery Friday night near the city of Sialkot. It said Pakistani soldiers had returned fire.

    But Indian border guard officials said that Pakistani troops first opened fire on Friday on 20 Indian posts in Samba and Kathua sectors across the international border.

    "The firing began Friday evening. Intermittent exchange of gunfire and shelling is still on,'' a Border Security Force official, said, on condition of anonymity.

    Investigation called

    Shantamnu, a top Indian state government official who goes by one name, said Pakistani fire wounded at least four civilians.

    On Friday, Sartaj Aziz, a security and foreign affairs adviser to Pakistan's prime minister, wrote a letter to India to protest the killing of the two Pakistani soldiers on Wednesday and called for "an immediate investigation into the incident and bringing the perpetrators to account,'' according to a statement issued by the foreign ministry. 

    Pakistan says the two slain soldiers had been invited for a meeting with their Indian counterparts.

    While skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops have been common over the years, the worst violation of the ceasefire accord took place in October over the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and killed nine civilians in Pakistan and India.

    Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan. The two countries have fought two wars over control of the Himalayan region since they won independence from Britain in 1947. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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