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Hundreds of villagers have fled the bordering districts of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir amid heavy exchanges of fire between Indian and Pakistani border troops.
On Friday, a Pakistani woman lost her life and her two daughters and husband sustained injuries when a mortar shell allegedly fired by Indian troops struck their home in the Nezapir sector of Rawalakot town, located 120 kilometers (74 miles) south of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
Mohammad Ansar, a local police official in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, said rockets and mortars fired by Indians were landing close to villages in Nezapir and Rawalakot sectors, forcing terrified villagers to flee to safer places.
This is while Indian army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta pinned the blame on Pakistan, saying the Pakistanis have been firing mortars, grenades and machine gun rounds at Indian positions in the Poonch sector over the past few days.
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain said on Friday that Islamabad believes in “peaceful co-existence” with New Delhi, though it would not comprise if its security came under threat.
“We want to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, with India,” he said.