People leave villagers for safety in the border areas of Jammu. (Associated Presse photo)
New Delhi: A woman died and eight civilians were injured as Pakistani Rangers kept up the overnight firing and shelling at 13 border outposts in Kathua and Samba districts in Jammu and Kashmir. Already, 1,000 people have been evacuated from the local villages. Claiming a child died in retaliatory firing by India, Pakistan threatened India with strong action.
Here are the latest developments in this story:
"If India doesn't understand the language of goodwill, we are fully capable using a language they do understand," Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said today. Pakistan has complained to the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad.
Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked and heavy firing and mortar shelling on posts and civilian areas since 9.30 pm last night, news agency Press Trust of India reported.
The BSF retaliated and the exchange of fire stopped around 3 am for a few short hours. Pakistan again started shelling and firing targeting civilian areas since 7 am.
Tori Devi of village Mangu Chack died in the shelling. Four persons, including two women, were injured in Nauchak village in Kathua. Scores of houses have suffered damage.
Further evacuation is to be held and the authorities are waiting for the firing and shelling to stop, Senior Superintendent of Police, Samba, Anil Magotra told PTI. People are taking shelters in bunkers.
The latest round of ceasefire violations by Pakistan, which started on New Year's Eve, has claimed two lives and injured nine persons. The other deceased is a BSF jawan. Five Pakistani Rangers have died in retaliatory firing by India.
The ceasefire violation comes barely two months after the last major escalation which left 13 people dead and displaced 32,000 residents in border districts.
Last night, the security forces also thwarted a major infiltration attempt. Under the cover of shelling and firing, the Rangers tried to push a group of seven to eight heavily armed militants from Chor Gali in Samba sector.
Last week, Union home minister Rajnath Singh had authorized the BSF to provide a "suitable and appropriate reply for any unprovoked firing". Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the army would retaliate with "double the force" if Pakistan opened fire across the border.
Over 550 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan occurred in 2014, the highest since the truce came into force in 2003. Nineteen people, including five jawans, were killed and over 150 people injured.