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SOURCE: Hindustan Times

An uneasy calm settled along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir’s Uri and Gurez on Saturday a day after Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged heavy shelling across the de facto border between the two countries.

Eight Indian security personnel and civilians were killed in the shelling. At least eight Pakistani soldiers were killed and 12 injured when the Indian Army retaliated with artillery guns and anti-tank guided missiles.

Mukthair Ahmad, a resident of Uri’s Garkote, said there has been complete silence along the LoC since Friday night. “No shelling took place in Uri after yesterday [Friday]’s heavy shelling which left four civilians dead and many injured.”

Ahmad, who lives close to the LoC, said many shells fell on roads and close to the residential areas. “We live in fear every time now. Do not know when the shells will start raining close to our homes.”

Mohammad Jaffer, a resident of Gurez’s Baktoor village, said the shelling stopped on Friday allowing his family to return home from an underground bunker. “The shelling started around 11 am yesterday [Friday] and continued till evening forcing all the people to take shelter in underground bunkers.”

Jaffer said it has started snowing, making the tense situation along the LoC particularly difficult for them. “Our area receives heavy snowfall and where will we go along with our families in this harsh winter. People living on both sides of the LoC are facing difficulties.”