CHINARI, PAKISTAN — PAKISTANI police opened fire on militants trying to cross into Indian-administered Kashmir yesterday, killing three of them, doctors say.
The marchers have vowed to storm the frontier to show solidarity with a Muslim revolt in the two-thirds of Kashmir under Indian rule. Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947.
Doctors say at least 12 people were hit by gunfire among at least 50 injured in clashes between the police and marchers.
Two policemen were among more than 20 people seriously hurt in the clash, including a senior Pakistani government official nearly lynched by the enraged crowd.
Before the flare-up, militant leader Amanullah Khan said he did not seek a confrontation with Pakistani security forces standing in his way, but refused to back down despite Pakistani fears that he could spark a conflict with India.
In Jammu and Kashmir, some 6,000 people have died in two years of insurrection.
Both India and Pakistan have declared their intention of preventing any crossing of the line of control at Chakothi where three people were shot by Indian forces resisting a similar march two years ago.