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Girl, soldier killed in shelling along LoC

NEW DELHI/JAMMU

A five-year-old girl and a soldier were killed on Monday as troops from the neighbouring country shelled and fired along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

The deaths have led to escalation of border tension.

The latest in a series of ceasefire violations came even as two senior military commanders of the two sides held talks to de-escalate the tension, a day after four soldiers and a civilian were killed after the Indian Army allegedly targeted a Pakistan Army vehicle across the LoC.

A military spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Manish Mehta said in Jammu that troops from the neighbouring country resorted to unprovoked shelling at Bhimber Gali, Mendhar and Balakote sectors of Poonch and Rajouri districts.

The shelling hit a girl, who was identified as Saida of Balakote in Poonch district. The soldier was killed in Rajouri district’s Tarkundi area.

The spokesman said the firing along the LoC stopped in the afternoon as the Indian Army retaliated ‘strongly and effectively’.

Authorities have decided to close all schools indefinitely near the border in Rajouri district.

Exchanges of fire also took place in at least three places in Kashmir’s Uri sector where an Indian soldier was injured. The firing in the Uri sector was still on.

Agencies