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CHIRIKOT SECTOR: Military this week said there had been an escalation in firing and shelling across the line of Control (LOC), at a time of heightened diplomatic tensions between the neighbours.

Major General Amer Ahsan Nawaz, the commander of Pakistani troops in Kashmir, accused the Indian military of trying to distract attention from unrest in its part of Kashmir.

"If you compare it to the past years, there is a definite increase in this year," he told reporters on Wednesday near the Line of Control (Loc), across which the two sides' militaries have faced off for decades.

Military said that in 2019, when ceasefire violations hit a more than decade-high peak, there were just over 3,500 incidents. Already in 2020 there have been almost 1,800 violations, the Pakistan military said, adding that the surge during the more volatile summer season since June had been more pronounced than in previous years.

Indian army spokesman Colonel Aman Anand rejected Pakistan's allegations, saying Pakistan's military had violated the ceasefire on more than 2,500 occasions this year. "It can start any time day or night," said Malik Mohammad Ayub, a local deputy commissioner, who said around four civilians were killed and 13 wounded in his district since he took the job four months ago.

Faiza Shabbir, 12, said she and her sisters had been afraid when shelling began in their area earlier this month. "Firing was going on, so we hid in our house, then a shell hit our roof. Three of us sisters and our grandmother were injured," she said, adding that had spent four days in hospital being treated for shrapnel wounds.