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Thousands of villagers evacuated as Pakistan resumes shelling in J&K

JAMMU: Pakistani forces on Thursday again started targeting civilian areas and BSF positions near the International Border in Jammu and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, an official said.

“Pakistan Rangers are firing with mortars and automatic weapons in RS Pura sector of Jammu and Hirnagar sector of Kathua,” a police officer told IANS, adding that the Pakistan firing started at 7 pm and was still continuing two hours later. The Border Security Force (BSF) has started “retaliating effectively”, he added.

Most villages along the International Border (IB) in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts have been evacuated since Pakistan Rangers resorted to targeting villages and BSF positions since October 6. Jammu Divisional Commissioner Shant Manu told IANS eight people have died so far in the ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) and the IB in Jammu district.

“Five civilians were killed in Pakistan shelling in Arnia area on Oct 6 while a girl injured in Pakistan Army shelling in Poonch district on the LoC also succumbed to injuries,” he said.

“Two women were killed Wednesday in Pakistan firing on the International Border, taking the toll of people killed during the last four days to eight.”