US voices concern over Kashmir violence

Urges all sides to make efforts to de-escalate tensions in the valley

News Desk/afp July 31, 2016

The United States on Saturday expressed concern over the escalating violence in Indian-Kashmir as it urged all sides to find a peaceful solution.

The concern was aired as India said its forces had killed two suspected militants in an overnight gun battle near the Line of Control in the disputed Himalayan valley.

Addressing a news conference in the State Department in Washington on Saturday, spokesperson John Kirby said that they wanted tensions to deflate. “We’re obviously concerned by the violence and we want to see the tensions de-escalated,” Kirby said.

He added that Washington was in close touch with New Delhi. “We encourage all sides to make efforts to find a peaceful solution to this.”

He also expressed concerns over the recent reports of beef related violence in India.

“We’re obviously concerned by reports of rising intolerance and violence,” Kirby said, adding that the US stands in solidarity with Indian people and government supporting exercise of freedom of religion and expression and confronting intolerance.

“We urge the [Indian] government to do everything in its power to protect citizens and to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

Two Indian soldiers killed

Two soldiers and two suspected militants were killed overnight in a gun battle in Indian-controlled Kashmir near the Line of Control with Pakistan, the Indian army said Saturday.

Colonel NN Joshi said the firefight occurred in Naugam sector, some 120 kilometres northwest of Srinagar, after soldiers intercepted the militants attempting to infiltrate the territory from Pakistan.

"Two terrorists were killed and two soldiers attained martyrdom. One soldier was injured," Joshi told AFP.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2016.


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