17:48 GMT14 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has put its defence facilities in the northern states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir on high alert following intelligence inputs that suggested a group of suspected terrorists from Pakistan has infiltrated into India.

    There have been several reports in recent weeks of a possible terror strike on Indian military facilities after New Delhi’s decision to strip  Jammu and Kashmir of its special status. Last month, intelligence agencies issued a warning against a possible cell of eight to 10 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists, who could possibility try to carry out a suicide attack against air force bases in and around Jammu and Kashmir. 

    “The Indian Air Force has puts its airbases in Punjab and Jammu on Orange alert,” government sources told an Indian news agency. “The inputs were received by forces today morning, and they are taking all precautions to protect the defence bases.”

    Pakistan has rejected the Indian decision to strip Jammu and Kashmirof its special status, terming it as illegal. In protest, Islamabad  expelled New Delhi’s envoy to Pakistan and downsized its mission in India. Pakistan also suspended communication links and trade with India.

    Tension between the two traditional rivals has escalated since then with the armies of both countries exchanging fires across the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border. Heavy firing between them was reported at different sectors of the LoC on Tuesday, 15 October. Pakistan has accused Indian troops of “heavy” shelling, and detonating cluster bombs in civilian areas, claiming the lives of three.

    "Due to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing by Indian Army in Nezapir Sector of Line of Control, three innocent civilians embraced martyrdom, while eight others, including women and children, sustained serious injuries," reads a statement issued by Pakistan's foreign ministry.

    Islamabad had summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner to lodge a strongly worded protest for targeting civilians and an alleged violation of the ceasefire along the LoC.

    Traditionally tense India-Pakistan relations dipped to a new low in February after New Delhi pinned blame on Islamabad for sponsoring terror attacks in Kashmir claimed by terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad. India carried out a retaliatory strike to destroy the group’s infrastructure.

    The Kashmir issue dates back to 1947 when both countries became independent from Britain. Both rule part of the Kashmir region, but claim the entire region in full.


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