Pakistan says soldier, 4 militants killed in border shootout

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s military said a soldier and four militants were killed Sunday in a shootout during a raid near the border with Afghanistan.

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

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

Such incidents have raised fears that the Pakistani Taliban are regrouping.

Separately, in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, a Pakistani official said Indian cross-border firing killed a 7-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.

Since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which is split between them and claimed by both in its entirety.

Pakistan and India routinely accuse each other of unprovoked attacks along the tense Kashmir frontier in violation of a 2003 cease-fire agreement.


Associated Press reporters Roshan Mughal in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan and Asim Tanveer in Multan, Pakistan contributed to this report.
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