India, Pakistan army trade fire in Kashmir; 2 civilians dead

Mehta said Pakistani troops began firing weapons from small arms to mortars in the Nowshera sector of Kashmir, prompting a retaliation by Indian forces.

According to the report, top Indian Army sources in Jammu and Kashmir have said that radio intercepts and intelligence inputs show a "very high state of alert" on the Pakistani side of the border since the start of May.

Yesterday, two civilians were killed and three injured in heavy shelling by Pakistan in Rajouri district. The district administration has closed schools in the area as a precautionary measure.

Furthermore, over 51 schools of the Nowshera region and 36 of Manjakote and Doongi zones have been closed for an indefinite period. "Shelling is on and once it subsides we will bring more people", said Chaudhary.

Three civilians were injured in the firing, it claimed.

It is the third incident of ceasefire violation by Pakistan since May 10 and so far three persons have died and six have been injured.

Residents said the artillery fired by Pakistani troops has damaged their houses and some unexploded shells are scattered in the civilian areas.

A Pakistan Foreign Office official said Pakistan "condemned the unprovoked firing" which allegedly targeted civilian population.

On Wednesday Pakistan shelling left a woman dead and her husband critically injured in Naushera sector of Rajouri district in Jammu division. More than 40 farm animals were also reportedly killed in the firing, he added.

Almost 1,000 residents of border areas in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri sector were evacuated after shelling from the Pakistan side early on Sunday. "But the difference now is, and people living on the border are a testimony to it, that the kind of retaliatory action which is being given by Indian side, was not seen for the decades together", he told reporters here today. The security forces retaliated and in resulting encounter, two militants were killed, the Army official said.

The deputy commissioner along with senior superintendent of police (SSP) Yougal Manhas and other senior officers from health, animal husbandry, power, and essential services departments rushed to the affected areas to facilitate evacuation.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into India and Pakistan controlled parts.

  • Leroy Wright