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India pounds LoC terror launchpads, Pakistan Army sites

Screenshot taken from footage released by the Indian Army.  

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, heavy exchange of fire between India and Pakistan on Friday forced scores of villagers living along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara to shift their families, especially the women, to safer locations.

Nazir Ahmad Khatana, a resident of Panzgam, said he had to shift his family to Kupwara town after artillery and bullets shook his village since Friday morning. “Many of our houses developed cracks and window panes broke. Women, the old and children were frightened and we decided to shift them,” said Mr. Khatana, whose village Panzgam is 20 km away from the district headquarters.

Also read: Crossing the line: ceasefire violations by Pakistan

“The whole world is battling Coronavirus. This is the time to allow people to be safe in their houses rather than sending them in hordes looking for shelters,” he said.

An official said there was an exchange of artillery fire between the Indian and Pakistani Army in Kupwara’s Rawthpora, Panzgam, Malikpora, Hafrada and Ferkiyan areas.

An Army spokesman blamed Pakistan for initiating the shelling in Kupwara’s Keran sector. “Indian Army retaliated to the shelling from across the LoC effectively and befittingly, during which many Pakistani positions were targeted,” said the Army.

Footage of the targeting by the Army
 

Also read: 2019 recorded highest ever ceasefire violations by Pakistan in J&K in last 16 years

Director General of Police (DGP), Kashmir, Dilbag Singh said it was extremely shameful and condemnable that when the entire world was coming together to fight the pandemic, Pakistan and its sponsored terrorists were making attempts to infiltrate and disrupt peace. “A group of terrorists who had infiltrated recently were gunned down in Keran sector. Our forces are taking enough measures to counter the evil designs of Pakistan and its sponsored terrorism,” Mr. Singh said.

The shelling comes five days after a major gunfight between the Army and infiltrators killed five elite paratroopers and an equal number of infiltrators. 

Meanwhile, Friday’s skirmishes led to the snapping of mobile internet services in Kupwara for many hours.

“Why on earth would the administration suspend the internet in the entire district because of shelling along the LoC? It’s almost as if the authorities are looking for any excuse to flick the internet switch,” said former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 9:18:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-pounds-loc-terror-launchpads-pakistan-army-sites/article31309500.ece

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