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Pakistan Summons Indian, Afghan Diplomats as Civilian, Soldiers Die Along Borders

Representative Image.

Representative Image.

The latest incidents come at an especially tense time between Pakistan and India, and as talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban have broken down.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: September 15, 2019, 12:32 PM IST
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Islamabad: Pakistan has summoned diplomats from India and Afghanistan after several shooting incidents along two different borders allegedly killed four Pakistani soldiers and a civilian woman.

An Indian diplomat was summoned on Saturday after Pakistan alleged that firing by Indian forces across the Line of Control (LoC) killed a 40-year-old woman from the village of Balakot.

Tensions between the two countries have flared since India announced the revocation of Article 370, that ensured special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan foreign affairs spokesman Mohammad Faisal in a statement on Saturday accused India of deliberately targeting civilian areas.

India has long accused Pakistan of supporting militant groups fighting Indian security forces in its part of Kashmir. Pakistan denies that.

Accusations of firing by both sides across the Afghan-Pakistani border are also common. The latest incidents come as talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban have broken down.

Pakistan's Foreign Office summoned an Afghan diplomat on Saturday to account for what it said was firing into Pakistan by militants in Afghanistan, a spokesman for Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The militants shot and killed a Pakistani soldier on patrol in one incident late on Friday. In a second incident, Pakistani forces fencing a section of the border were attacked and three were killed, the ministry said on Saturday.

Both incidents occurred in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Pakistan underscored in its meeting with the Afghan diplomat that Afghanistan was responsible for securing its side of the border.

An Afghan government spokesman could not be immediately reached. Afghan officials have in recent weeks accused the Pakistani military of several incidents of heavy artillery fire into Afghanistan.

Both of the uneasy neighbours are battling militant factions along their largely porous border and each accuses the other of harbouring their militant enemies.

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