- - Thursday, January 10, 2013

PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani army accused Indian troops of firing across the disputed Kashmir border and killing a soldier Thursday, the third deadly incident in the disputed Himalayan region in recent days.

Indian officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday’s shooting.

The tit-for-tat fighting threatens to reverse recent progress Pakistan and India have made in improving their historically antagonistic relationship.

The two countries have fought three major wars since they achieved independence from British India in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.

The mountainous region is divided between the two countries, but both claim the area in its entirety.

A cease-fire over Kashmir has largely held for about a decade, despite periodic firing across the disputed border that sometimes causes casualties.

INDIA

Lawyer says police beat give gang-rape suspects

NEW DELHI — Police badly beat the five suspects arrested in the gang rape and killing of a young woman on a New Delhi bus, the lawyer for one of the men said Thursday, accusing authorities of tampering with evidence in the case that has transfixed India.

“They are innocent,” Manohar Lal Sharma said of the five suspects ahead of a court hearing, which ended quickly because some of the official court paperwork listing the charges was illegible.

Mr. Sharma said police have beaten the men and placed other prisoners into the suspects’ cells to threaten them with knives, adding “you can’t believe the reality of Indian prisons.”

Five men have been charged in the attack on the 23-year-old woman and a male friend on a bus as it was driven through the streets of India’s capital. The woman was raped and assaulted with a metal bar on Dec. 16 and eventually died of her injuries.

Rape victims are not identified in India, even if they die, and rape trials are closed to the media.

Mr. Sharma, who has made a series of inflammatory and often-contradictory statements in the past two days, at one point Thursday said the woman’s male companion, who boarded the bus with her after they saw a movie together, was “responsible for the whole thing.” He gave no details, though, and a few hours later said the man’s responsibility “was only my opinion.”

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