According to Indian journalist, Aditya Raj Kaul, a major security operation has been launched to track down the perpetrators following the attack in Kulgam, in south Kashmir. The attack comes as members of the European Parliament visited the Kashmir valley amid escalating tensions between the two states. It has been reported that all five of the labourers were from the West Bengal region of India.
The tragic news comes as a Pakistani minister warned of the serious repercussions against any state that sided with India.
At the heart of the conflict has been the contested region of Jammu and Kashmir, a territory which India has accused of harbouring terrorists.
In a further move to antagonise relations between the two states, Pakistan’s federal minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Ali Amin Gandapur has issued a threat to any country contemplating siding with India.
Speaking recently, Mr Gandapur said that “any country which will not stand with Pakistan over Kashmir will be taken as our enemy and our missiles will hit them also, if in a state of war”.
Last week, India launched a series of strikes on alleged terrorist launchpads in Pakistan.
Following those bold strikes, the governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik said that if the terrorist strikes did not stop, India would retaliate in more heavily.
Mr Malik stated that India would go “inside and destroy” the camp if they were not dealt with.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Malik added: “Pakistan will have to behave and stop these terror camps.
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“If it does not behave, we will go deep inside and destroy these camps.”
Moreover, in the wake of the attack, the Indian army confirmed that although they had successfully targeted “several terrorists”, there had been some casualties from the Pakistani army.
India’s, army chief, General Bipin Rawat told The Times of India: “Six to 10 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in our firing.
“A similar number of terrorists have been killed and three out of the four launch pads were destroyed.
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“The casualty number could be much higher.
“Instead of waiting for the terrorists to infiltrate, we decided to target the launch pads since we had the coordinates for them.”
In response, Raja Farooq Haider Khan, Prime Minister for Pakistan’s Azad Kashmir territory, insisted that the Indian forces had gone “berserk”.
Confirming that there had been six casualties, Mr Khan hit out at India for the attack.
More to follow…
He added: “This is the height of savagery.
The world must not stay silent over it. #KashmirNeedsAttention.”
In August, India’s Prime Minister, Modi, revoked Article 370.
Under Article 370, the Kashmir and Jammu region is given a special status within India’s constitution.
Modi made the decision in the wake of a devastating terrorist attack which killed 44 Indian Paramilitaries.
Following that attack, a series of retaliatory strikes were exchanged between the two rival states, including the downing of two Indian jets.
Such was the severe state of relations between the two neighbouring countries, that Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, stated in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly that the two had come incredibly close to nuclear war.
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