India: Protesters clash with armed officers in Kashmir
It follows the discovery of another tunnel in November last year that Indian media outlets had said appeared to have been “professionally engineered”. The tunnel had been described as “on the international border,” 40 metres long on the Pakistani side and with another end on the Indian side 12 to 14 inches wide.
Now, a new tunnel has been spotted about 65 feet from the fence on the Indian side and is about three feet wide.
The tunnel also appears to be between 25 and 30 feet underground.
Indian news outlet the Hindustan Times cited a Border Security Force officer as having supplied the information.
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The outlet claims the tunnel “was a professionally-engineered effort to infiltrate terrorists trained in terror camps commissioned by the Pakistan army” and that it had been “built by Pakistani security officials”.
The BSF officer added it had sent “special teams” to look for such tunnels “given the sophistication of the last tunnel that had been found”.
The tunnel has been linked to tensions between India and Pakistan in the region of Jammu and Kashmir.
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In November the Hindustan Times said there was evidence four “terrorists” from Islamic extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammed had travelled to Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan.
India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir and have fought two wars over the territory.
Yesterday foreign ministers from Pakistan and Turkey met to agree a joint strategy on mutual interests, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said.
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At the meeting, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, spoke of “Indian illegally-occupied Jammu and Kashmir”, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
Tensions in the region have also erupted after Indian authorities in Kashmir stripped the region of its so-called ‘special status’ last year.
Prior to that, Indian-administered Kashmir held a semi-autonomous status.
However, this status was revoked last year and the region was split into two federal regions.
Security forces there clashed with civilians and a curfew and communications blackout was ordered.
The BBC has referred to Jammu and Kashmir as “one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints” and subject to anti-India protests for decades.
Yesterday, the UK’s Nigel Adams, minister for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, reiterated Britain’s stance on the India-Pakistan tensions in the region.
Amid a parliament debate about the “political situation in Kashmir,” Mr Adams said: “It’s not appropriate for the UK Government to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator.
“We continue to believe that this is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to the situation that takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people… as laid out in the Simla Agreement,” according to Indian outlet NDTV.
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