Asia

Pakistani Soldier, four fighters killed in Afghan border attack

The Pakistani military said two soldiers were also injured during the raid in Pakistan’s North Waziristan.

Pakistan’s military has said a soldier and four rebel fighters have been killed in a shoot-out during a raid near the border with Afghanistan.

The military said two soldiers were also injured during the raid on Sunday in the Spinwam area of North Waziristan, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

North Waziristan served as a headquarters for local and foreign rebels until 2017, when the army said it had cleared the mountainous region of fighters following several operations. The region still sees sporadic attacks, mainly targeting security forces.

Such incidents have raised fears the Pakistani Taliban is regrouping.

Separately, in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, a Pakistani official said Indian cross-border firing killed a seven-year-old girl and wounded 10 villagers.

Umar Azam, the deputy commissioner of Kotli district in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, said Pakistani troops returned fire across the border.

There was no immediate comment from India.

The fighting came amid increasing tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours.

Earlier this month, Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fire across the frontier, leaving 12 people dead, including three Indian and one Pakistani soldier, and wounding at least 36 on both sides. The fatalities were some of the highest reported in recent years.

A ceasefire has been in effect since 2003 across the length of the Line of Control, which divides Pakistan-administered and Indian-administered Kashmir, but it is frequently violated by both India and Pakistan, with each routinely blaming the other for initiating hostilities.

Both countries claim the disputed mountainous territory of Kashmir in full but administer separate portions of it. They have fought two of their three wars over the region since gaining independence from the British in 1947.

In 1948, the UN Security Council passed a resolution mandating that both sides cease hostilities to pave the way for a plebiscite where Kashmiris would be given the right to choose between joining either Pakistan or India.


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