India says seven people were killed on its side of the Line of Control Tuesday
Pakistan says six were killed by shelling from India a day earlier
India and Pakistan say 13 civilians have been killed in cross-border shelling from both sides of the Line of Control, the de facto border between the two countries in the disputed region of Kashmir.
At least seven civilians on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) were killed Tuesday and 15 others injured in shelling that came from the Pakistani side, according to local Indian authorities.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that six civilians on the Pakistani side had been killed by shelling from India Monday, and eight injured.
Women killed ‘inside their homes’
The casualties on the Pakistani side were in the Nikial and Jandrot areas, the statement said, adding that Pakistan’s Director General had summoned India’s Deputy High Chief Commissioner on Tuesday to strongly condemn the “unprovoked ceasefire violations.”
Of the Indian casualties, five civilians were killed in heavy shelling in the Ramgrah sector of India’s Samba district, Sheetal Nanda, Samba’s district magistrate, told CNN. Nine others were injured in the area.
Two women were also killed in shelling in the Manjakote area of Rajouri district, according to Johnny Williams, deputy inspector general of police in the district.
“The two ladies were inside their homes when shells landed there. They died on the spot,” he said, adding that three others were injured in the strikes.
Three civilians were also injured in India’s Poonch district, police chief J.S. Johar told CNN.
Neither side has responded to the allegations of ceasefire violations.
The latest clashes come at a time of heightened tension between the neighbors over Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region that has been disputed territory between India and Pakistan for the past 70 years.
Both of the nuclear-armed countries hold separate parts of the region and have fought two wars, in 1947 and 1965, over their claims. They came close to a third, in 1999.
Tensions have flared since 19 Indian soldiers were killed in September in an attack by armed militants on an army base in Uri, about 63 miles (102 kilometers) from Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
In the aftermath, India launched what it described as a “surgical strike” across the Line of Control to attack what it said was a terrorist launching pad. Pakistan denied that the target was a terrorist base, pointing out that two of its soldiers were killed.
Amid the continuing fallout, India has relocated more than 10,000 people from around the disputed border area, and a top Bollywood director has refused to hire Pakistani actors.