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Father and Daughter Killed in in the Indian part of the disputed Kashmir region by Pakistani Army Fire

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Kashmiri protesters shout slogans as a tear gas shell explodes near them in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, May 12, 2017. Government forces used tear gas smoke and rubber bullets to disperse dozens of rock-throwing protesters demonstrating against Indian rule in Kashmir Friday. VOA

A father and daughter were killed in the Indian part of the disputed Kashmir region Saturday by Pakistani army fire across the de facto border, and three of their relatives were wounded, an Indian military spokesman said.

It was the second major cease-fire violation in the area in days. A woman was killed and her husband wounded by Pakistani firing across the de facto border dividing Kashmir early Thursday.

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“Pakistani troops initiated indiscriminate firing,” said the Indian spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Manish Mehta, adding that Pakistani forces had fired with various weapons from small arms to large caliber mortars in the Nowshera sector.

A mortar bomb hit a home in a village near the Line of Control, which separates the two sides in Kashmir, inflicting the casualties, he said.

Indian forces retaliated “strongly and effectively,” he said, adding the authorities had closed all schools in the area.

A Pakistani military spokesman was not immediately available for comment. On Thursday, Pakistan condemned what it called unprovoked Indian firing in the area.

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India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence in 1947, two of them over the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir, which they both claim in full but rule in part.

Clashes between their forces in Kashmir largely stopped after a 2003 cease-fire, but exchanges of fire have been more common over the past couple of years.

Occasional efforts to improve ties between the nuclear-armed neighbors through talks have achieved little, while protests against Indian rule in its part of Kashmir have flared violently over the past year.

India accuses Muslim Pakistan of supporting separatist insurgents fighting security forces in Indian Kashmir. Pakistan denies that. (VOA)

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Women from Less Affluent Neighbourhoods More Prone to Violence

The research adds to the evidence that economic inequality and deprivation, even at a neighbourhood level, increases a woman's risk of experiencing abuse

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Sexual violence in neighborhood can affect the mental health of women. Pexels
Sexual violence in neighborhood can affect the mental health of women. Pexels

Women who spend longer periods of their early lives in less affluent neighbourhoods are at a greater risk of experiencing violence during their early adulthoods at the hands of their intimate partners, according to a new study.

The research, led by the University of Oxford with the University of Bristol in the UK, looked at the participants of Bristol’s Children of the 90s study who were followed from birth and reported on their experiences of intimate partner violence between ages 18 and 21.

The researchers examined the level of deprivation in women’s neighbourhoods over the first 18 years of their lives.

“This is the first UK study, to our knowledge, to demonstrate that long-term exposure to deprived neighbourhoods appears to be an important factor contributing to increased risks of violent victimisation in young women by their partners,” said the study’s senior author David Humphreys from the University of Oxford.

domestic violence
A scene from Afghanistan’s Palwasha TV series, a show that draws attention to the issue of violence against women. (Representational image). Flickr

The study, published in the journal Epidemiology, found that women who had lived in the most deprived neighbourhoods for longer durations over their childhoods were 36 per cent more likely to experience intimate partner violence between ages 18 and 21.

They also experienced this violence more frequently than women who had spent less or no time living in the deprived neighbourhoods.

Neighbourhood deprivation is often thought to increase this risk, in part because neighbourhoods with fewer social and economic resources tend to have higher rates of public forms of violence, like burglary and vandalism.

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“Intimate partner violence is a major public health problem in the UK and beyond. To develop more effective prevention strategies, we need a better understanding of what causes this violence in the first instance,” said the study’s lead author Alexa Yakubovich.

The research adds to the evidence that economic inequality and deprivation, even at a neighbourhood level, increases a woman’s risk of experiencing abuse. (IANS)