India violates LoC ceasefire, fires mortars near Kotli

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ISLAMABAD

The Indian Army carried out mortar shelling and firing in the Kotera sub-sector near Kotli in Azad Kashmir on the Line of Control (LoC), according to military sources on Monday.
Military sources said that the Pakistan Army retaliated which forced the Indian side to stop the shelling and the firing. No loss of life was reported. This is the second time an LoC ceasefire violation has taken place in less than a week.
The continuous violation of ceasefire agreement has terrorised locals. The two countries had agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC in November 2003, but skirmishes have often flared across the heavily-militarised LoC, the de facto border in Kashmir, with both sides blaming each other for having violated the agreement.
On April 25, Pakistani and Indian troops had exchanged fire on the LoC, breaking a three-month-long period of calm in the disputed Himalayan state of Kashmir. A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had said that Indian troops resorted to ‘unprovoked firing’ in Poonch Sector.
On January 11, Indian troops had violated the ceasefire on the LoC, injuring a 55-year-old civilian in Tatapani sector, some 180 kilometres from Muzaffarabad. In retaliation, Pakistan Army personnel had also retaliated to the Indian firing, forcing them to stop the shelling on the civilian population.
On August 26 last year, unprovoked firing from the Indian Army had injured six civilians.
A day earlier, shells fired by Indian troops had struck villages in Nakyal sector, some 200 kilometres south of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Kashmir, intermittently overnight. Three houses were damaged along with a car.
On August 23 last year, the Indian Army had opened fire in the same sector, seriously injuring a civilian identified as Arif Kiyani. The continuous bombardment had also destroyed a house in the area.