KOTLI: Villagers living near the Line of Control (LoC) have started migrating to safer areas down the valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir as Indian army is repeatedly targeting civilian population in the area, it has been learnt.

Indian army targeted civilian population on Wednesday which resulted in displacement of those who were in direct range of Indian firing, sources told Dawn.com.

Three people including a woman were injured due to Indian firing, while two houses were also damaged, they added.

Local residents, while talking to Dawn.com, informed that Indian army was repeatedly targeting civilian population across the LoC for the past two days after which they have now started to migrate to safer areas.

The local administration officials confirmed that people from Samahani, Darra Sher Khan, Urran Kel, Tatta Pani and Goyi areas near the LoC are migrating to Bhimber and Kotli sectors.

“Some people have their own houses there, while others have moved to live with their relatives,” said a local administration official.

Residents said it had become difficult to live amid heavy Indian firing on civilian houses.

The locals further said that they had to hide inside their houses for around two hours due to continuous firing from the Indian army.

Meanwhile, local sources said that emergency has been declared at the DHQ Hospital Kolti.

On the other hand, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations, Indian army opened unprovoked firing in Iftikharabad, Kotli and Kel sectors in the evening.

Heavy exchange of fire which started this evening continued till filing of the report.

Ties between Pakistan and India worsened after an attack on an Indian military camp in Uri inside India-held Kashmir on Sept 18, where around 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

India alleged that Pakistan-backed terrorists were involved in the attack and initially claimed that weapons recovered from them bore Pakistani markings. However, this assertion was debunked by the Indian media itself, forcing the Indian DGMO to retract the claim.

Since then, exchange of fire has taken place along the LoC on an almost daily basis. The escalation continued when India claimed it carried out "surgical strikes" across the control line on Sept 29, claims Pakistan rejected as being baseless.

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