MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistani authorities yesterday accused the Indian army of cross-border shelling that killed two women and wounded seven others in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
“A 17-year-old girl who was wounded in shelling by Indian troops died at hospital, while an injured man is being treated there,” local police chief Chaudhry Majid said.
A local government official earlier said a woman was killed and seven were wounded in shelling by Indian troops.
“A woman was killed and at least seven other villagers were wounded when Indian forces fired shells from across the Line of Control (LoC),” said Masood-ur-Rehman.
The latest deaths take the toll to six on the Pakistan side, reported to have been killed in skirmishes across the heavily militarised de facto border in Kashmir since five Indian soldiers were ambushed and killed on August 5.
Delhi blamed the August 5 killings on the Pakistani army, but Islamabad denied any responsibility and has called for restraint and dialogue.
Shells fired by Indian troops struck villages in Nakyal sector, some 200km south of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir, intermittently overnight, Rehman said.
Three houses were damaged and one house and a car completely destroyed, he said.
Javed Budhanwi, MP from the area, said Indian shelling had caused panic among more than 50,000 residents and warned that authorities may have to evacuate civilians to safer locations.
“It is difficult for people to move out at the moment as the shelling continues,” Budhanwi said.
The intermittent clashes threaten to jeopardise a planned meeting between the two countries’ prime ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York next month.
A deadly flare-up along the LoC in January brought a halt to peace talks that had just resumed following a three-year hiatus sparked by the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people.
India blamed Pakistani militants for the attack.