19:45 GMT05 July 2020
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    Indian authorities cited continuous ceasefire violations along the Line of Control in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir as the reason behind school closures in the area.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The District Administration of Rajouri in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered the closure of schools in border areas due to ongoing firing from across the border by Pakistani forces.

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    "We have ordered the immediate closure of all schools in a 5 km radius of the Line of Control in Keri and Pokherni sector in Rajouri district," Additional Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri Sher Singh told Sputnik.

    ​"We have taken steps in view of the safety of school children. There have been continuous ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces since early this morning," Sher Singh added.

    Pakistani and Indian troops have often exchanged fire in Kashmir along the UN-designated Line of Control: over the last two years, the number of ceasefire violations from both sides has significantly increased, as tensions boil over. The two sides signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003 to maintain peace along the border.

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    According to Indian Home Ministry data, 2018 India witnessed more than 600 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and international border between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the highest number of cross-border exchanges initiated from the Pakistani side in the last eight years.

    India and Pakistan are going through one of their worst phases of bilateral relations, owing to accusations and counter-accusations of cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations.     

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    closed, schools, ceasefire, border, India, Pakistan
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