Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Four Pakistani soldiers killed in separate clashes | Conflict News

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The Pakistani military says Indian troops opened fire across the de facto border, killing one soldier, while three others were killed in the rebel stronghold of North Waziristan.

At least four Pakistani soldiers were killed in two separate clashes on Thursday, the military said.

A statement by the Pakistani military condemned what it called an “unprovoked” violation by India of the 2003 ceasefire agreement in the Dewa area, killing a soldier along the line of control, a de facto border dividing the disputed region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Pakistani troops retaliated, he added, the latest in continuing tensions between the two South Asian nuclear rivals.

There was no immediate comment from New Delhi, but the two sides regularly accuse each other of unprovoked attacks in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is divided between them and claimed by both in its entirety.

China also controls part of the disputed region, but it is India and Pakistan that have waged two wars in the Himalayan region since partition in 1947.

In another incident, three soldiers were killed in a firefight during an operation against rebel hideouts in North Waziristan, a district in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province near the border Afghan.

Two attackers, including an expert in improvised explosive devices, were also killed during the intelligence operation, the army said.

He provided no further details, and the identity and nationality of the rebels killed was not known.

North Waziristan served as the headquarters for local and foreign rebels until 2017, when the military said it had rid the mountainous region of fighters following several operations to eliminate Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban or TTP).

Successive operations pushed the TTP towards neighboring Afghanistan. Islamabad claims the group has now set up bases across the border to attack Pakistani security forces and civilians.

The TTP is a distinct group from the Afghan Taliban, although Pakistani rebel groups are often linked with those across the border.

There has been a sharp increase over the past year in attacks on security forces and civilians in the North Waziristan district.

Over the past week there have been at least three separate attacks on security forces in the region and Thursday’s security operation appears to be a reaction to that.


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