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Srinagar: At least three civilians were injured while several residential houses were damaged in cross-border firing in Hajipeer, Nambla and Rustum post sectors in Uri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police officials said.

They said that Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing small arms, mortars and other weapons Saturday afternoon.

“A few mortar shells exploded near the residential houses injuring two civilians,” the officials said, adding the injured civilians were identified as Ahmed Shiekh (60), Parveena Begum (40), and Maqbool Mangral (20). “The injured were immediately evacuated to nearby primary health centre centre for the first-aid treatment where their condition is stated as stable,” the officials said.

Defence officials said that Indian army responded to Pakistani firing.

Reports said that a few residential houses have also suffered damage. “Once the shelling would stop, teams will go to the spot to assess the damage,” they said.

The intense shelling between the two sides triggered panic in almost a dozen villages close to LoC in Uri as many residents were seen running for safety besides taking their livestock to safer places as well.

Shakeel Ahmed, a resident of Uri said over phone that people in his village woke up to intense shelling from across the border and when the same was responded by the army, it looked like a war like situation.

“We took our livestock to safety and asked the people of our village to stay indoors. Since there are a very few underground bunkers, people assembled in one place and took refuge in them,” Ahmed said, adding that fear gripped children and women as none of them ventured out of their homes since Saturday morning while the livestock too was locked in cowsheds and other places.

This year, a record number of 1640 border skirmishes have been recorded in J&K where Pakistan has used small arms to mortal shells besides indiscriminate gunfire.

“Every time Pakistan resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation, the army has given them a befitting reply by retaliating effectively,” a defence official said. (KNO inputs)

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