Monday, January 18, 2021

Civilians Killed, Houses Destroyed As India-Pakistan Exchange Heavy Artillery Fire

Kashmiri civilians across both sides of the lines-of-control (LOC) in Indian and Pakistani administered Kashmir continue to face the brunt of cross border artillery fire killing scores of non-combatants.

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Yesterday, three civilians in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district were killed in cross-border shelling by the Pakistani Army. “Pakistani troops initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation around 5.00 pm,  targeting the civilian population,” an official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Several houses were also destroyed when shells landed in Reddi Chowkibal and Tumna villages, officials said, adding that it is the first time when shells fired from across the Line of Control (LoC) landed deep inside Kupwara villages.

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Defense spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia accused Pakistan of the ceasefire violation in the Keran sector of Kupwara. “Unprovoked ceasefire violation was launched by Pakistan in Keran sector at 5 pm. Pakistan targeted civilian population in Kupwara near LoC, resulting in the killing of three innocent civilians, including one woman and a child,’’ he said.

The Indian army has one of the biggest camps located in Chowkibal. Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, “India carried out precision targeting of gun areas, terrorist launch pads, and ammunition in response to unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Keran sector of Kupwara district. There have been reports of heavy damage on their (Pakistan side), an Indian Army defense spokesperson claimed.

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Earlier, as reported by the EurAsian Times, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) accused the Indian Army of resorting to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and injuring civilians.

Pakistan’s military media wing – ISPR said Indian troops used artillery and heavy mortars in the Sharda, Dhudnial and Shahkot Sectors along the LOC and intentionally attacked civilian population in Bessan Wali and Chhari villages.

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“Pakistan Army troops responded effectively with matching caliber and targeted those Indian Army posts which initiated fire,” ISPR said. “In 2020, the Indian Army committed 708 Ceasefire Violations so far, in which 2 citizens embraced martyrdom while 42 sustained injuries.”

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