J&K: Heavy firing across LoC in Poonch; villagers flee homes

Authorities have shutdown all educational institutions within 5 km of the LoC and the international border in Rajouri, Poonch and Samba districts.

Published: 28th February 2019 09:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2019 12:16 PM   |  A+A-

Kashmir People

People flee the town of Chakoti which is about 5 km, from the Pakistan Indian border, following the intense exchange of fire between Pakistan and India, at the LoC. | AP

By IANS

JAMMU: There was heavy firing on Thursday between Indian and Pakistan across the Line of control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district, the Defence Ministry said.

"At around 6 a.m. today, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling mortars and firing small arms along the Krishna Ghati sector," Defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said here.

The Indian army retaliated effectively and strongly. Firing exchanges stopped around 7 a.m., he added.

Authorities have shutdown all educational institutions within 5 km of the LoC and the international border in Rajouri, Poonch and Samba districts.

ALSO READ: Indo-Pak standoff LIVE UPDATES

Pakistani police say troops deployed in the disputed region of Kashmir continued trading fire with India overnight, forcing villagers living near the contested frontier to move to safer places even as the two nuclear-armed nations appear to be stepping back from the brink.

Police official Mohammad Tahir says cross-border fire continued into Thursday but there were no casualties. Government buildings in Muzafarabad, the capital of the Pakistan-controlled section of Kashmir, are being used to provide shelter to those who fled from border towns.

This comes a day after Pakistan's military said it shot down two Indian warplanes in Kashmir and captured a pilot, answering an airstrike the previous day by Indian fighter jets inside Pakistan.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan offered peace talks and India's external affairs minister promised restraint.

(With inputs from AP)

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