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Pakistan and India Exchange Fire in Kashmir - Indian Defence Ministry

© REUTERS / Mukesh GuptaAn India's Border Security Force (BSF) soldier keeps vigil during patrol along the fenced border with Pakistan in Ranbir Singh Pura sector near Jammu February 26, 2019
An India's Border Security Force (BSF) soldier keeps vigil during patrol along the fenced border with Pakistan in Ranbir Singh Pura sector near Jammu February 26, 2019 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Pakistani servicemen shelled on Thursday morning India's positions located across the so-called Line of Control (LoC) separating the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of the disputed Kashmir region, having violated the ceasefire, Lt. Col. Devender Anand, the spokesman for the Indian Defense Ministry said.

"At about 0600 hours [00:30 GMT], Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with mortars and firing small arms along LoC in Krishna Ghati Sector. The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively. The firing stopped at about 0700 hours," Anand said, as quoted by the Hindustan Times newspaper.

The Indian army returned fire "effectively and strongly", and both sides stopped shooting at around 0700 (IST), he added. Local authorities have shut down all educational institutions within 5 km of the LoC and the international border in Rajouri, Poonch and Samba districts.

READ MORE: Pakistan's Envoy Blames US for 'Emboldening' India Amid Kashmir Escalation

Meanwhile, the Indian government convened an urgent security meeting with the three service chiefs in New Delhi amid the escalation at the Line of Control and talk of another major strike against Pakistan.The first meeting, chaired by Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is underway, while the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will meet at 1830 (Indian Standard Time) on Thursday evening, a senior government official told Sputnik. The meeting has been called against the backdrop of several reports that indicate the movement of troops and equipment on both sides towards the border.

A media report citing Pakistan Foreign Minister SM Qureshi reads that Pakistan feared another attack from India and it can do from the air, sea and land border.

Meanwhile, another report based on a document issued by Pakistan said that all hospitals near Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan would be reserved for emergency services.

Unverified videos circulated in social media indicate that troop movement has been underway since yesterday on both sides towards the international border.

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This week, tensions between India and Pakistan escalated, as the two countries engaged in an air battle and lost jets in it. It followed an air strike by the Indian Air Force on what it said was a camp of the militant Jaish-e-Mohammad group, considered terrorist by India, which was located on the Pakistani soil across the LoC.

The strike came after a deadly attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad on the Indian paramilitary police force in Kashmir in mid-February. While India has accused Pakistan of supporting the militants and having a "direct hand" in the incident, Pakistan has rejected the allegations, accusing India, in turn, of being responsible for human rights violations taking place in Kashmir.

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