Thursday, January 26, 2023
Niz Goenkar
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India & Pakistan Tensions Spike After 'Gunmen Kill 4' And Child Dead In Kashmir Blast
Monday - Jan 2, 2023
Two gunmen sprayed bullets toward a row of civilian homes in a remote village in Indian-controlled Kashmir, leaving at least four civilians dead and five others injured, police have said, with a subsequent explosion killing a child hours later. Police blamed militants fighting against Indian rule for decades for carrying out the attack at Dhangri village in southern Rajouri district, which is close to the highly militarised Line of Control that divides the disputed region between India and Pakistan.
 
Top police officer Mukesh Singh told local reporters the men indiscriminately opened fire Sunday night at three houses in Dhangri. He said four civilians were killed and five others were injured. Authorities rushed police and soldiers to the area and launched search for the attackers. On Monday, a child was killed and five other civilians injured in a blast that occurred near one of the houses targeted overnight in the village, police said. It was unclear whether the explosive was left behind by the attackers.
 
Officials said police were investigating the two incidents in the village. Nearly three dozen people in the southern city of Jammu protested the killings that Manoj Sinha, New Delhi's top administrator in the region, condemned the incident and called it a "cowardly terror attack." He said: "I assure the people that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished." There was no independent confirmation of the attack. India and Pakistan each claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety.
 
Rebels in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir have been fighting New Delhi's rule since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebel goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. India insists the Kashmir militancy is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies the charge, and most Kashmiris consider it a legitimate freedom struggle. Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces have been killed in the conflict.
 
In 2019, India launched surgical strikes against what it said were militant training camps in Balakot, Pakistan, with Islamabad responding days later with airstrikes of its own in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Days later Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian jets as the situation threatened to spiral out of control. Then-Pakistan PM Imran Khan said: "All wars are miscalculated, and no one knows where they lead to. World War I was supposed to end in weeks, it took six years. "Similarly, the US never expected the war on terrorism to last 17 years. "I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford such a miscalculation?"

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