Nine killed in fresh firing across Kashmir border

India revoked Kashmir’s autonomy on August 5 and imposed movement and communications restrictions to quell unrest. (AFP)
Updated 21 October 2019

Nine killed in fresh firing across Kashmir border

  • Tensions escalated between the nuclear-armed neighbors after India revoked Kashmir’s autonomy on August 5
  • Officials from the two countries accused each other of firing mortar rounds

SRINAGAR, India: At least nine people were killed Sunday in firing along the de facto India-Pakistan border in Kashmir, officials said, adding to the spike in deaths in recent days as New Delhi eased a curfew in the disputed region.
Tensions escalated between the nuclear-armed neighbors after India revoked Kashmir’s autonomy on August 5 and imposed movement and communications restrictions to quell unrest.
Officials from the two countries accused each other of firing mortar rounds and small arms along the so-called Line of Control.
“Two soldiers and a civilian were killed and three others injured in the unprovoked fire by Pakistan,” Indian Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said of the “unprovoked” fire in the mountainous Tangdhar region of Kupwara district.
Several homes were damaged in the attack and three civilians were being treated in a hospital, he added.
Officials in Pakistan-administered Kashmir said six civilians were killed and eight others wounded in Muzaffarabad and Neelum Valley.
“Mortar shells hit civilian houses and have so far martyred five people in Muzzafarabad and wounded six others,” said Muzaffarabad deputy commissioner Badar Munir said.
Munir said the dead included three members of one family.
Neelum Valley official Akhtar Ayub said one civilian was killed and two injured.
The shelling came after five people were killed in Indian Kashmir on Wednesday, two days after New Delhi restored mobile phone and text services.
Indian authorities said repeatedly during the lockdown that Kashmir has been mostly peaceful.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since 1947 and was the spark of two wars and numerous skirmishes.
An armed rebellion against Indian rule has raged in the valley since 1989, claiming tens of thousands of lives, mostly civilians.


Bangladesh train collision kills 15, toll could rise

Updated 5 min 30 sec ago

Bangladesh train collision kills 15, toll could rise

  • Most passengers were asleep at the time of the crash
  • Railway accidents in Bangladesh happen relatively frequently, many at unsupervised crossings, and also because of the poor condition of tracks
DHAKA: Rescuers in Bangladesh were battling on Tuesday to pull passengers from mangled wreckage after a head-on collision of two trains killed at least 15 people and injured more than 40, officials said.
A train heading for the southern port city of Chittagong and one bound for Dhaka collided at around 3 a.m. (2100 GMT) in Brahmanbaria, about 100 km east of the capital, crumpling three compartments of the Chittagong-bound train.
“So far, 15 bodies have been recovered,” district official Hayat Ud Dowlah Khan said by telephone from the accident site, warning that the toll could rise during the rescue, mounted by fire, police, border guard and army officials.
“More than 40 injured people have been admitted in hospitals,” Khan said, adding that some were in critical condition.
Most passengers were asleep at the time of the crash.
“Suddenly there was a big bang. I saw people were screaming,” a passenger of the Dhaka-bound train said in television images from the site.
It was not immediately clear how the two trains came to be on the same track, and the government has ordered an investigation.
“One of the trains might have broken the signal, leading to the tragedy,” one police official, Shayamal Kanti Das, told reporters.
Railway accidents in Bangladesh happen relatively frequently, many at unsupervised crossings, and also because of the poor condition of tracks.