September 22, 2017 / 9:24 AM / 3 years ago

Shelling across Pakistan-India border kills six civilians, wounds 30

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Shelling along the disputed border between Pakistan and India killed six civilians, and wounded an additional 30 people, officials from the two sides said on Friday, in the latest confrontation between the two nuclear-armed countries.

A relative cares for a woman injured during shelling along the disputed border between Pakistan and India at CMH hospital in Sialkot, Pakistan September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

The clash came on the heels of the two arch-foes trading accusations at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The firing took place across the frontier separating Pakistan’s Punjab province from Indian-administered Kashmir’s Jammu region, and most of the casualties were reported on the Pakistani side.

Pakistan’s military said six civilians were killed and 26 wounded.

“Pakistan Rangers Punjab befittingly responded on posts targeting civil population,” the Pakistan army’s public relations wing said in a statement.

Indian Police officials in Jammu said the ceasefire was violated by Pakistani forces, who injured four civilians on the Indian side.

Both countries claim Kashmir, and have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region, which they have disputed since partition and independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

In July, four soldiers were killed when Indian shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) that separates parts of Kashmir held by both countries struck a Pakistani army vehicle. Indian officials denied any knowledge of the incident.

In May, India accused Pakistani forces of killing two soldiers patrolling the LoC and mutilating their bodies. Pakistan’s military denied the allegations and said it had not committed ceasefire violations.

Both sides have previously accused each of violating the ceasefire and of beheading soldiers in the past.

On Thursday in New York, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urged the UN secretary general to appoint a special envoy for Kashmir.

He accused India’s military of brutality in a crackdown against anti-India activists. Hundreds of Kashmiris have been killed or injured and shotgun pellets have blinded and maimed others, he said.

India rejected the allegation, terming Pakistan a home to

terrorism that harbors violent militants.

India accuses Pakistan of backing several anti-India militant groups and helping them infiltrate the Kashmir to stoke violence and carry out terrorist acts. Pakistan denies the charge.

Additional reporting by Fayaz Bukhari; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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