Pakistani forces on Wednesday allegedly violated the ceasefire and resorted to heavy shelling along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, the Hindustan Times reported.

“At about 10.30 am, Pakistan continued its nefarious designs and [for the] third time in a day again initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by heavy shelling with artillery and firing of small arms along the Line of Control in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors,” said Defence spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand. He added that the Indian Army was retaliating strongly and effectively.

Both Armies had exchanged heavy fire across the Line of Control in Rajouri district’s Sunderbani sector till 4.30 am on Wednesday, ANI reported. Heavy exchange of fire also took place in Mankote sector of Poonch, reported Greater Kashmir. Pakistani troops on Monday had fired mortar shells and small arms at forward posts and villages along the Line of Control in Akhnoor and Poonch sectors.

Authorities have directed all schools and educational institutions within a 5-km distance from the Line of Control in Rajouri and Pooch districts to remain closed.

Firing across the border has escalated amid tensions between the two countries following the cross-border strikes conducted by the Indian Air Force on February 26. Both countries also engaged in aerial skirmishes the next day, and Pakistan captured IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, after his fighter jet was shot down. Varthaman was later released.