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Schools along a section of the International Border (IB) were today shut by authorities due to firing and shelling by Pakistani troops, officials said.

The schools were in the 5-kilometre range from the IB.

“The schools along the IB in Jammu, Samba and Kathua were closed because of the firing and shelling by the Pakistani troops, divisional level officials said.

Over 150 schools are situated in the range along the IB in the region, they said.

For the past one week, Pakistani Rangers and Army have directly targeted civilians areas, killing six people, including two BSF jawans, and causing injuries to 18 people along the IB.

The officials said the situation was tense as the Pakistani troops have been firing intermittently from across the border.

In fact, on Monday, the Pakistan Rangers again started unprovoked firing and shelling along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday night, hours after “pleading” with the BSF to stop firing, after being pounded with heavy artillery that left a trooper dead across the border.

Small-arms firing from the Pakistani side started around 10.30 pm at Narayanpur in the Ramgarh sector and was followed by mortar firing, aimed at the forward posts of the BSF and villages along the border, an officer of the border-guarding force told PTI.

The officer, who requested not to be named, said the BSF troops guarding the border retaliated to silence the Pakistani guns and the exchange of fire between the two sides was going on when the last reports came in.

However, there was no report of any casualty, he added.

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Earlier on Sunday, the BSF said the Pakistan Rangers “pleaded” with themto stop firing along the IB, after being pounded with heavy artillery that left a Pakistani trooper dead.

The BSF also released a 19-second thermal-imagery footage, showing the destruction of a Pakistani picket across the border, in retaliation to the unprovoked firing and shelling along the IB.

“(Pakistan) Rangers called up the Jammu BSF formation today and beseeched to stop firing,” a BSF spokesman said.

“The befitting reply by the BSF units to the unprovoked shelling and firing across the IB by the Pakistani forces has forced them to plead for a ceasefire,” a senior official said.

“Over the last three days, the precision firing of the BSF troopers on Pakistani firing locations inflicted heavy losses and yesterday, it found its mark with one of the rangers in the chicken neck area,” he added.

The BSF has lost two of its jawans in the latest round of unprovoked firing along the IB in Jammu over the last few days.

Four civilians were killed and 11 others injured in the Jammu area due to the firing, which increased in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day-long visit to Jammu and Kashmir yesterday.

The state has witnessed a spurt in Pakistani shelling and firing along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) this year.

Over 700 such incidents have been reported this year, which have left 38 people, including 18 security personnel, dead and scores injured.

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