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The heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir became active on Monday as Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fire in different sectors, leaving at least one person wounded, according to initial reports.

Mohammad Din Mir was injured by the splinters of a mortar shell in the Digwar sector of Haveli district, where shelling began at 9am, a police official in the area said.

The 60-year-old victim was admitted to a military-run health facility in the area.

“They are using mortars and the shelling is continuing intermittently,” the official said.

In the neighbouring Abbaspur sector of district Poonch, the villages of Chirikot, Nakar Kot, Kakota and Dhiroti Polas were hit by Indian troops starting 9am, Poonch's Deputy Commissioner Raja Tahir Mumtaz said.

“They are using both small and big arms, but no casualty has been reported as yet,” he said.

“The exact situation will, however, be clear only after the shelling stops or subsides,” he added.

Military sources said that Pakistani troops were retaliating “effectively”.

On Saturday, 18-year-old boy Attique Qureshi was injured in shelling at the Dhiroti Polas village. The boy succumbed to his wounds on Sunday night when he was being moved to Islamabad from a health facility in Rawalakot, said an official at the Abbaspur police station.

Residents said his funeral prayers could not be held in his village due to shelling and had been rescheduled for 1pm in Abbaspur city.

Tense relations

Incidents of cross-border firing have become a norm since 2016 as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue. Cross-border exchanges of fire have been reported sporadically since the new year began.

Following the Uri army base attack in September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stepped up a drive to 'isolate Pakistan' diplomatically.

In the days following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border 'surgical strike' against 'launch pads of terror' in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan strongly rejected.

Pakistan maintains that India was attempting to divert the world's attention away from 'atrocities' committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.

The two countries locked horns over the Kashmir issue after Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July 2016.