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Pakistan to UN: Indian Cross-Border Fire Kills 12 in Punjab

  • Ayaz Gul

Indian security posts, right, are seen along the border between India and Pakistan in Suchetgarh near Jammu, Oct. 9, 2014.

Indian security posts, right, are seen along the border between India and Pakistan in Suchetgarh near Jammu, Oct. 9, 2014.

Pakistan, in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said Indian fire across a disputed border has killed 12 civilians and wounded 61 people, including some soldiers, this month in Punjab province.

The letter said the cross-border fire violates a 2003 cease-fire.

A statement from Pakistan's foreign ministry Sunday said national security and foreign affairs adviser Sartjaj Aziz also appealed to Ban for help in solving Pakistan's long-running dispute with India over Kashmir.

Line of Control

Line of Control

Aziz said Pakistan hopes India will prevent the situation from worsening.

He said Islamabad is committed to peaceful resolution of all disputes with India, saying, “This is in the best interest of both India and Pakistan and the region.”

Both sides have been firing mortars and machine-guns across the so-called 200-kilometer long "Working Boundary" that separates Pakistan's Punjab province from the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

Accusations

India said Pakistan started the firing to provide cover to terrorist infiltrations into Indian Kashmir and has reported around a dozen civilian casualties on its part.

It is difficult to independently ascertain who initiated the firing.

Pakistani commanders describe the Indian firing as "the most intense in decades." The exchange of fire has forced thousands of villagers to flee to safety on both sides.

Aziz alleged Indian troops have also committed cease-fire violations along the military Line of Control separating Pakistani Kashmir from the Indian part of the divided Himalayan territory.

The Kashmir issue has triggered two wars between the nuclear-armed neighbors and has led to several low-level conflicts since India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain in 1947.

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