India Relocates 10,000 from Around Kashmir After Fresh Gunfire


India has evacuated more than 10,000 people from around the disputed border area of Kashmir as tensions escalated this week with Pakistan, according to a CNN report.

The report said that the two nations exchanged gunfire Saturday morning, with each of the nuclear neighbors accusing the other of provocation.

Simrandeep Singh, magistrate of Jammu District in India, accused Pakistani troops of firing across the Line of Control in two separate incidents. There were no fatalities, Singh said.

The Pakistani military blamed India, saying its troops “responded to Indian unprovoked firing.”

Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa denied Pakistani troops engaged in a strike across the Line of Control, reported CNN.

“There has never been a physical violation of LoC,” he said. “They have violated the LoC with fire, and they opened fire on a span of around 250 kilometers at five places as they claim.”

This comes after on Thursday, India conducted “surgical attacks” on what it is called terrorist bases across the disputed Line of Control.

Pakistan has denied the presence of these bases on its side of the border. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the attack.

In the meantime, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he has offered to mediate the matter.

The United Nations said it was “following this situation with great concern” and urged both sides to exercise restraint.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region, has been disputed territory between India and Pakistan for 70 years.

Both of the nuclear-armed countries hold separate parts of it and have fought two wars, in 1947 and 1965, over their claims. They came close to a third, in 1999.

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