RAWALPINDI: At least three Pakistani citizens, including a minor, were killed and 22 injured along the Working Boundary area in Sialkot district during an exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani security forces on Tuesday.

An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement late Tuesday evening said three civilians ─ including a minor ─ were killed due to "unprovoked firing" by Indian troops in Sukhial village.

Working boundary along Sialkot district. ─Dawn GIS
Working boundary along Sialkot district. ─Dawn GIS

Women and children are included among the 22 wounded in the exchange of fire in the Pukhlian and Bajwat sectors, the ISPR said.

Earlier today, the ISPR said "unprovoked shelling" across the Working Boundary in Sukhial village had injured three children and two women.

The ISPR added that Pakistani troops responded to the shelling in a "befitting" manner.

An Indian website said officials claimed firing from the Pakistani side had killed one Indian civilian.

In July, Pakistani officials blamed the BSF for killing four civilians in two separate incidents of cross-border firing in Sialkot's Chaprar sector and Rawalakot's Neza Pir sector.

India moreover accused Pakistan of killing three border guards and one civilian.

Tensions along the border between the two neighbours have escalated despite an hour-long meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Ufa, Russia on July 10.

A border ceasefire agreement signed by the neighbours in 2003 has largely held, but both frequently accuse each other of breaching it.

Pakistan condemns killing of civilians

"Pakistan has condemned the killing of civilians in the latest unprovoked ceasefire violations by India at the Working Boundary," the Foreign Office (FO) said.

The Government of Pakistan has lodged a protest with the Indian government over what it refers to as ceasefire violations by the Indian security forces in Pukhlian.

Two civilians, aged 14 and 22 died, while others ─ including at least three children and two women ─ were injured, the FO said.

The spokesman said the Government of Pakistan offers its condolences and deep sympathies to the bereaved families on the loss of precious lives.

"The unprovoked ceasefire violations were started by India at New Kane and two other posts at 0530 hours today. Pakistani posts responded to this provocation. The Indian troops then opened fire from all their posts in the area targeting civilians and villages," the FO said.

The spokesman said the Pakistani government conveyed its deep concern at the continuous unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian side at the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary and targeting of the civilians.

While condemning the ceasefire violations, the government impressed upon India to stop ceasefire violations and to observe the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding in order to create peace and tranquillity at the LoC and the Working Boundary.

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