People along LOC in Uri live under fear as India-Pak armies exchange heavy gunfire

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Srinagar, Nov 13: Armies of India and Pakistan Friday exchanged heavy gunfire, which created a fresh scare among people living along the line of control in Uri area of North Kashmir.
Sources said that armies of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy gunfire across the Line of Control in north Kashmir’s frontier sectors- Hajipeer Uri in Baramulla.
Five security personnel were among nine persons killed in multiple ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) from Gurez sector to Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, officials said.
Three civilians were killed in Kamalkote sector in Uri area of Baramulla district while a woman was killed in Balkote area in Haji Peer sector of Uri, they said. “The number could go up as several people have sustained injuries,” they added.
They said Pakistani rangers violated ceasefire and targeted the forward post of Indian army along the line of control (LoC) in Hajipeer sector due to which panic gripped Churanda, Silikote, Garktote, Hatlanga, Nambla and Rustom Mohallah areas
“Due to the cross border shelling panic gripped these villages and people were seen running for cover. The bullets landed in various villages,” locals said.
Hundreds of people in north Kashmir’s Uri sector fear for their lives these days.
“There was heavy shelling on Friday. No one was able to move out of homes. It is very unfortunate when countries are fighting against Covid-19, some people are fighting each other with guns and bombs on LoC,” said Bashir Ahmad, a local.
A large number of cattle in border villages get killed or injured whenever there is a ceasefire violation.
“Even if we manage to save ourselves, we are unable to save the animals,” he said.
Several locals either serve in the army or in the police force, while many others engage in farming and grazing of animals, like sheep and buffalo.
The Uri subdivision comprises around 1.25 lakh people; in case of any ceasefire violation, more than 40,000 people from border villages are directly affected. The town is surrounded by the LoC on three sides. Urusa, Silikote, Shoura, Churunda, Tilawari, Chakara, and villages from Hajipeer area — Budna, Alawadi, Kamalkote, Morthal, Dardkote, Ishem, and Gowalta — bear the brunt of the skirmishes between the two countries.
Uri is 76 miles from Srinagar and 42 miles from Muzaffarabad. The mountainous region surprisingly doesn’t have dense shrubbery and the houses built on the hillocks on both sides of the border have small patches of land, which residents have turned into vegetable gardens. However, Pakistan Army on the other side of hillocks is just 200 metres away.
Fifteen years ago, in 2005, an earthquake rocked Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, a region where locals already live in fear, hanging on to their dear lives, amid sporadic shelling at the LoC. (KINS)

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