08:52 GMT +323 January 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistani troops have targeted forward posts and villages along the Line of Control with mortar shells and small arms fire, the Indian Army claimed on Tuesday. The two sides have been urging each other to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the boundary.

    The firing started a day after Pakistan's foreign ministry summoned the Indian envoy over the killing of two civilians and injury of several others along the border.

    “On Tuesday at about 0745 hours local time, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing of small arms and shelling with mortars in Shahpur and Kirni sectors of Poonch district,” the Indian Army spokesman in Jammu said.

    The Indian Army retaliated and a heavy exchange of fire was still going on when the reports last came in, the spokesman added. Over the last three days, several ceasefire violations were reported from both sides in which over a dozen people were injured.

    The Indian Army claimed that Pakistan had violated the ceasefire over 2,000 times along the Line of Control this year, leaving 21 people dead and scores injured.

    On Monday (30 September), Pakistan's foreign ministry blamed Indian troops for deliberately targeting civilian populated areas and termed it “deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws”.

    “The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” the Pakistan foreign ministry added.

    The two sides have been urging each other to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

    Relations between the two South Asian nations have dipped to a low since February this year, when India blamed Pakistan for sponsoring terror attacks in Kashmir after the Pulwama incident. Forty troopers were killed in a suicide attack on a convoy earlier this year, which was claimed by the US-designated terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which maintains bases in Pakistan.

    The Indian Air Force had carried out a retaliatory air strike to destroy the alleged terror infrastructure of JeM in Balakot inside Pakistan. The tension resurfaced in August when the Indian government revoked the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir which Pakistan claims violates bilateral treaties between the two countries.

    The Kashmir issue dates back to 1947,when both countries became independent from Britain with both claiming Kashmir as their own. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since then, two over Kashmir.



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