Villagers leave their homes amid violent clashes in Kashmir

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The villagers are fleeing the violence-ravaged region to take shelter in underground bunkers, the two countries’ officials announced on Tuesday.

SHAFAQNA – Thousands of people have abandoned their homes in the disputed Kashmir region, following deadly cross-border clashes between Pakistan and India.

According to official reports, the recent spell of violence in the disputed territory of Kashmir has so far claimed the lives of nine civilians and injured more than 20.

On Monday, the Indian and Pakistani military forces exchanged gunfire and mortal shells in Kashmir with each side blaming the other for initiating the violence, saying it has just retaliated.

A similar outbreak of violence in August resulted in the displacement of over 15,000 villagers on both sides of the border.

Reacting to the deadly clashes, US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said Washington was concerned about the escalation of violence in the region.

“We continue to encourage the governments of India and Pakistan to engage in further dialogue to address these issues,” she stated on Monday.

Kashmir lies at the heart of more than 66 years of animosity between India and Pakistan. Both neighbors claim the region in full but have partial control over it.

Over the past 25 years, people in Kashmir have been engaged in pro-independence battles with the Indian government. New Delhi’s crackdown on the protests has left tens of thousands dead in the Muslim-dominated region.

Islamabad and New Delhi have fought three wars, two of which over Kashmir, since their independence from the British colonial rule in 1947.

 

Source: Press TV

www.shafaqna.com

 

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