Indian army accused of using Kashmiris as human shields in border skirmish with Pakistan

Security forces amassed in residential areas of northern Kashmir resulting in three civilian deaths, including an eight-year-old

The Indian army has been accused of war crimes after videos emerged of its military firing at targets in Pakistan from civilian areas of Indian-held Kashmir.

Residents in the Muslim-majority village of Panzgam in Kupwara district told Middle East Eye on Monday that Indian forces entered the area with heavy artillery late last week and began using the village as a base to launch attacks against the Pakistani army.

Villagers said that not only were they placed in the direct line of retaliatory attacks but the deafening sound from Bofors artillery guns had damaged homes, terrorised children and turned the quiet village into a war zone.  

“We approached the army but they are telling us to leave our houses. Where would we go?” Zaiba Hussain*, a resident of Panzgam, told MEE.

“On the one side, the government is telling us to stay home and maintain social distancing,” Hussain said, referring to a raft of measures imposed by Delhi aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.


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