Expressing regret over the loss of lives and injuries in the clashes in Kashmir, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called on all parties to exercise "maximum restraint" to avoid further violence and hoped that all concerns would be addressed through peaceful means.
"The Secretary-General is closely following the recent clashes in Kashmir. He regrets the reported loss of dozens of lives and the injuries to many others," a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson said here.
The statement said Ban "calls on all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid further violence and hopes that all concerns would be addressed through peaceful means".
Earlier during the daily briefing on Monday, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the reports of the clashes in Kashmir, in which about 23 people have been killed so far and over 250 injured, "are of concern to us".
Dujarric also rejected remarks by a Pakistani journalist that the UN chief, who had earlier in the day addressed the press on the situation in South Sudan, had "brushed aside" the Kashmir issue and was not taking note of the situation there.
"I think no one is denying that we are concerned about the situation in Kashmir. The fact that the Secretary General did not raise it as he did not raise many other critical situations around the world does not mean that he is brushing anything aside," Dujarric said.
Tensions are rising in Kashmir where clashes have broken out between protesters and security personnel following the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani last week.