02:10 GMT11 April 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Amid unprecedented levels of firing and shelling across the border, Pakistan has evacuated all Chinese nationals engaged in civilian construction near the Line of Control (LoC) after shooting from the Indian side resulted in the deaths of two civilians with dozens reportedly injured.

    Citing officials, Pakistani media has reported that around 50 Chinese nationals were working on dam construction along the confluence of the Neelam and Jhelum rivers.

    Raja Shahid Mahmood, a local Pakistani official, said the decision to evacuate the Chinese workers was made after a volley of "indiscriminate firing" by Indian security forces.

    The armies of the two nuclear-armed nations exchanged fresh shelling along the so-called Line of Control in the border town of Hajipeer in the Uri sector of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday evening.

    ​Earlier in the day, the Pakistan foreign ministry summoned an Indian diplomat in Islamabad and lodged a strong formal protest against the ceasefire violation by the Indian Army in several sectors along the Line of Control.

    ​Pakistan has blamed Indian forces for targeting civilians in the Danna, Dhddnial, Jura, Lipa, Shardda and Shahkot sectors along the Line of Control. 26-year-old Nouman Ahmad was killed while nine civilians, including women and children, sustained serious injuries.

    New Delhi has asked Islamabad to "desist from such acts immediately" and asked Pakistan to "investigate such heinous acts of killing innocent civilians".

    Relations between the two countries have worsened after the Pakistani military downed two Indian warplanes in the disputed Kashmir region, reportedly in retaliation for an earlier airstrike by Indian fighter jets against what New Delhi claimed was a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camp.

    India has blamed Pakistan for supporting the terrorists and having a "direct hand" in a deadly attack on the Indian paramilitary police force in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has rebuffed the accusations.


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