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India, Pakistan Engage Heavy In Cross-Border Shelling Despite Coronavirus Pandemic

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At a time when the economies across the globe are under financial strain and countries are under lockdown due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, one of the worst pandemics in history of mankind, India and Pakistan have surprisingly resumed hostilities along the line of control.

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Both India and Pakistan are under the grip of the virus and at a time when the world is uniting to combat the spread of virus further, India and Pakistan continue to exchange fire with both nations accusing each other of ceasefire violations.

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In the latest incident, a 45-year-old Indian civilian has been injured in the Kathua region in the heavy overnight mortar shelling by Pakistan Rangers. Bodh Raj suffered splinter injuries from a mortar that landed near his house in Manyari area of Hiranagar sector in the early hours on Tuesday.

The Pakistan Rangers opened shelling at 9.35 pm on Monday alongside continuous firing which ended at 5 am on Tuesday. The firing was also reported from Mendhar sector of Poonch where Mohammad Shoukat, a local porter working for the Indian Army was injured.

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Villagers were shifted to underground bunkers till the duration of shelling. Pakistan has intensified shelling in Manyari and adjoining villages to prevent Border Security Forces from constructing counter-infiltration grids, according to India media reports.

This is the fifth consecutive day when India and Pakistan have exchanged gunfire across the International Border blames the media from the Indian side. Pakistan has previously targeted Shahpur, Kirni, Qasba and Mankote sectors. Four days back Pakistan had opened intense mortar shelling in Poonch sector.

However, Pakistan suffered a military casualty some days back in the crossfire when an army sepoy was killed. Wajid Ali, a resident of Dadu was killed in the Shahkot sector.

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“Indian Army troops resorted to unprovoked fire in Shahkot sector along LOC with heavy weapons,” according to ISPR. “During the exchange of fire, one brave soldier Sepoy Wajid Ali, age 20 years, resident of District Dadu, valiantly responding to Indian ceasefire violation (CFV) embraced shahadat.”

The exchange of firing along LOC is surprising given the fact that both the countries had agreed to co-operate with each other against coronavirus pandemic in the recent video conference meeting of all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders.

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