Fighting on India-Pakistan border mars end of Ramadan

July 20, 2015 09:11
A soldier is carried in a stretcher after border clashes in this file picture. Indian and Pakistani forces have fought three wars since 1947, two of them over Kashmir which both claim. Photo: Huffington Post

The end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, has in the past inspired friendly gestures between Indian and Pakistani forces on the disputed border.

They would use Eid al-Fitr to reach out to each other, often with small, random acts of friendship such as exchanging sweets.

Not this year.

Fighting marred the holiday as Indian and Pakistani forces exchanged fire across the border over the weekend, according to Reuters.

The hostilities shattered a recent agreement between Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi and his Pakistani counterpart, NawazSharif, to ease border tensions   

"The Pakistan army started shelling and firing on forward villages in Poonch sector when the people were busy celebrating Eid ... targeting army posts and civilian areas, creating panic among the civil population," Indian defense spokesman Lt. Col. Manish Mehta was quoted as saying.

Five civilians on the Indian side were injured and several houses damaged, officials said.

Pakistan said Indian forces had fired small arms, rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns across the border.

India, which is majority Hindu, and Muslim Pakistan have fought three wars since becoming separate nations in 1947, two of them over Kashmir which both claim.

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