An Army soldier was killed and a civilian was injured in an exchange of fire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Wednesday night, reported PTI. The incident took place in Nowshera sector.

“A soldier lost his life in the line of duty late Wednesday night when Pakistani troops opened heavy fire in Tarkundi sector that runs along Rajouri and Poonch districts,” said unidentified defence officials, according to the Hindustan Times. “India retaliated strongly to the unprovoked firing and shelling by the adversary.”

The injured was identified as Nayamtullah of Rajdhani village. Rajouri Senior Superintendent of Police Chandan Kohli said Nayamtullah was hit by splinters of a mortar shell. “He was immediately evacuated to a hospital and is out of danger,” he added.

Officials said Pakistani troops opened fire and shelled mortars around 10 pm on Wednesday. Several houses were damaged. They shelled villages and forward posts along the LoC, forcing people in border hamlets to take shelter in bunkers.

This is the fourth day of firing and shelling by the Pakistan Army, according to PTI. The heavy shelling has triggered panic among residents who have asked authorities to provide them with more bunkers.

Budgam encounter

An encounter broke out between security forces and suspected militants in Budgam in the wee hours of Thursday, reported PTI. Firing is still underway.

The operation was launched around 2 am. The police said two to three militants could be trapped in Pathanpora village of Budgam.

This is the fourth operation since Sunday and 14 militants have been killed so far. Nine suspected Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a commander, were killed in two gun battles with the security forces on Sunday and Monday.

On Monday, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh had said that the security forces have eliminated 22 militants, including six top commanders, in nine operations in the last two weeks. He added that there could be around 150 to 250 militants in the Kashmir region and 125 to 150 in Jammu region.