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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 November 2005, 09:50 GMT
Third Kashmir border point opens
Pakistani porters carry relief supplies across the Tithwal-Nauseri footbridge
The crossings are only open to porters carrying relief supplies
India and Pakistan have opened a third crossing point on the de facto border in Kashmir to help provide aid for survivors of last month's earthquake.

The opening of the third crossing joining the villages of Tithwal and Nauseri had been postponed to allow for the construction of a foot bridge.

Currently, the crossing is open only to relief supplies and not to civilians.

India and Pakistan struck a deal last month to open five points along the Line of Control (LoC).

Two other points were opened last week.

District administrator Abdul Majeed Khanday told AFP news agency that the crossing will be open for four hours daily.

He added, "Soon the crossing will be thrown open for the civilians.

That is the purpose of these crossings. We want people to visit their relatives and share their grief and pain."

Indian authorities say civilians are not being allowed to cross the LoC because of the bad condition of roads on the Pakistani side, the BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar reports.

Villagers protest

The first crossing between Rawalakot and Poonch was opened last Monday.

Pakistani police fire tear gas at Titrinote on the Line of Control in Kashmir
There was trouble when the LoC was partially opened last week
The police fired in the air and lobbed tear gas shells to break up a protest by Kashmiri villagers on the Pakistani side of the divide unhappy because the crossing was opened only to relief material but not civilians.

The deal struck between India and Pakistan at the end of last month was intended to allow Kashmiris divided by years of conflict to help each other following the 8 October quake.

But India is concerned that Muslim militants could try to infiltrate into territory it controls under the guise of meeting family members.

An estimated three million people are homeless in the earthquake zone, and many are still yet to receive help.

Pakistan says the death toll stands at more than 73,000. Nearly 1,400 people died in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials say.



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