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Woman among four civilians killed by Indian firing along Line of Control

At least four people were killed, including a woman, and six were injured when Indian forces opened fired in different sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) on Monday.

Casualties occurred in different villages of Nakyal sector which has been experiencing indiscriminate shelling for the past several days.

“Indian troops have yet again resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control in Nakyal, Jandrot and Kel sectors,” said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The ISPR statement added that Pakistani troops “befittingly responded and targetted Indian posts”.

Jandrot is located in Kotli district while Kel lies in the upper belt of Neelum valley, northeast of Muzaffarabad.

A government official from Nakyal told Dawn that there had been intense shelling since 8am, with Indian troops using both small and heavy arms.

Zeeshan Nisar, assistant commissioner Nakyal, also confirmed that three men and a women were killed by Indian fire.

“Since the shelling is continuing, we are unable to instantly collect all details, I am afraid there might be more casualties,” said Nisar.

“The shelling is so intense that you cannot even imagine. There has been no let up in the shelling since morning,” said Javed Budhanvi, a former AJK minister.

Tense relations

The latest episode of cross-border firing comes as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue.

The Indian prime minister stepped up a drive to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri army base attack last month.

Hours after the attack occurred, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’. India also accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack.

The Uri attack occurred days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was set to address the United Nations General Assembly regarding Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir.

Following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border ‘surgical strike’ against ‘launch pads of terror’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan has strongly rejected.

Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world’s attention away from ‘atrocities’ committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.

Pakistan and India have locked horns over the Kashmir issue since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July.

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