A man in Bhimber district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) died after being hit by a mortar shell fired by the Indian army from across the Line of Control (LoC), an official said on Monday.

“The shell landed in the courtyard of the house, leaving 39-year-old Guftar Hussain dead on the spot," said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bhimber Chaudhry Zulqarnain Sarfraz. "But other members of the house remained unhurt miraculously.”

According to the SSP, the firing was a "completely unprovoked ceasefire violation" of the 2003 agreement.

The latest ceasefire violation comes months after both sides agreed to "undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the borders". A special hotline between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMO) of Pakistan and India was established for the purpose.

However, SSP Sarfraz said there has not been any let up in ceasefire violations along the LoC and Working Boundary.

“In fact, Indian troops have become habitual of intentionally hitting innocent and unarmed civilians along the dividing line in a bid to create panic among them. However, they have failed to break the morale of the valiant civilian population,” he added.

In the last such incident, Indian troops had fired a rocket in Nadheri village of Kotli district's Goi sector on September 3, leaving a man critically wounded. The victim succumbed to his wounds in a hospital in Rawalpindi on Sept 9.

According to Saeed Qureshi, a director at State Disaster Management Authority, as many as 25 people, seven of them women, have lost their lives in the current year to Indian shelling in different areas of AJK, while another 139, including 67 women, have sustained injuries.

The shelling has also left at least 28 houses partially damaged and two houses and a shop completely damaged in 2018, he added.

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