5 civilians injured in Indian firing across Working Boundary: ISPR

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Five Pakistani civilians sustained injuries on Thursday as Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire across the Working Boundary, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The “intense and heavy” exchange of fire continued for 11 hours on Harpal and Chaprar sectors on the Working Boundary, it said.

The ISPR added that Pakistani troops responded “befittingly” to Indian firing and inflicted “heavy casualties” while targeting Indian posts.

Heavy mortar shelling by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on villages along the Working Boundary a day earlier killed two residents of villages in the Chaprar sector and left another eight badly wounded.

In total, more than four people, including an infant, have been killed and 26 residents of villages along the Working Boundary have been injured since Monday.

For the third time in less than two weeks, the Indian deputy high commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office where the South Asia and Saarc director general lodged a protest over ceasefire violations by the BSF in the Chaprar and Harpal sectors and along the Line of Control in the Bhimber sector. The Indian diplomat was asked to ensure that the incidents were investigated and that the findings shared with Pakistan.

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Tense relations

The latest episode of cross-border firing comes as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue.

The Indian prime minister stepped up a drive to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri army base attack last month.

Hours after the attack occurred, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’. India also accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack.

The Uri attack occurred days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was set to address the United Nations General Assembly regarding Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir.

Following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border ‘surgical strike’ against ‘launch pads of terror’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan has strongly rejected.

Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world’s attention away from ‘atrocities’ committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.

Pakistan and India have locked horns over the Kashmir issue since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July.