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World - Asia/Pacific

Pakistan closes schools at Kashmir border with India

Three shells burst near a village in the Kaksar region of Kashmir Wednesday

RELATED VIDEO
CNN's Satinder Bindra reports that India blames Pakistan for intrusion into its side of the border
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India-Pakistan relations

 

Government says Indian shelling killed students

June 2, 1999
Web posted at: 4:23 p.m. EDT (2023 GMT)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The government in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir ordered schools closed along its territorial border with India Wednesday, after accusing India of killing school children with artillery fire for the second straight day -- a charge denied by the Indian military.

The Pakistani military said three children died and two teachers were injured Wednesday at a primary school in Nar, some 260 kilometers (150 miles) south of Muzaffarabad, the capital of the portion of Kashmir ruled by Pakistan.

Ten high school students reportedly were killed Tuesday in a border village in the Neelum Valley.

Pakistan accused India of deliberately targeting the schools.

"On both these occasions, it cannot be a coincidence that they start artillery or mortar fire just as the schools begin," said Pakistani Army Brig. Rashid Quereshi. "They want to demoralize our people, but they won't succeed."

India called the charges "vicious propaganda."

"The Pakistanis are killing our civilians in cold blood," a senior Indian defense official told Reuters. "We are hitting only military targets."

No date yet for talks

India has been battling an Islamic insurgence in Kashmir, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, for two weeks. Guerrillas -- supported by Pakistan, India claims -- have pushed into the Indian-controlled portion of the Himalayan region.

Pakistan denies anything more than giving moral support to the rebels, but India contends Pakistani troops are involved in the "intrusion."

"It is an armed intrusion by Pakistan, amounting to aggression," said Indian Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani. "The Kargil operation by Pakistan is a desperate attempt to resurrect dying militancy in the valley."

Indian air power has been targeting the guerrillas in the Kargil-Drass region of Kashmir, pounding rebel positions ahead of ground attacks.

Pakistan has proposed sending Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz to New Delhi to hold talks on Kashmir, a plan accepted by India. No dates for such talks have been set.

"We are still waiting for their response," Aziz said. "It's likely to be in the next few days."

India and Pakistan -- both nuclear powers -- have fought two wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

New Delhi Bureau Chief Satinder Bindra and Correspondent John Raedler contributed to this report.



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Pakistan says Indian fire hit Kashmir school
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India agrees to Kashmir talks
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RELATED SITES:

Contemporary conflicts: Kashmir
Kashmir News Reports
Kashmir Information Network
The Government of Pakistan
Indian Ministry of External Affairs
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