India, Pak troops trade heavy gunfire along LoC in Uri 8000 people affected by cross-LoC shelling, evacuation going on war footing: Official

Indian and Pakistani armies on Saturday traded heavy gunfire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector destroying 4 residential houses in Silikot area with Pakistani troops asking residents to evacuate from the area.
Eyewitness said that Pakistan army made announcements through public address system asking Silikote and Tillawari residents to vacate their homes this morning. They said that after the announcement heavy shelling started on the both sides of LoC.
Irshad Ahmad of Silikote, who had gone to feed the cattle at Uri rehabilitation centre early morning, said that at around 11:30 am, Pakistani army made announcements on loudspeakers asking “people residing on this side of the border to evacuate as soon as possible.”
“After the announcement heavy shelling started from across the LoC. We ran away leaving behind the cattle. After running few miles, we heard ambulance sirens and then they took us back to rehabilitation centre. It was a war like situation with mortars and explosions raining everywhere,” Irshad said.
Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Uri, Javaid Ahmad Shah, told Rising Kashmir, “I don’t have any information regarding the announcements made by Pakistan army but I too heard it from locals. Early morning we reached to the affected areas and evacuated all the residents amidst heavy shelling.”
Authorities said that due to shelling from across the border 7 villages have been affected and evacuation process has been started on war footing basis in the frontier villages of Uri.
SDM Uri, Sagar D Doifode, said that 8000 people have been affected due to shelling for past three days.
“We deputed ambulances and private vehicles to evacuate the residents who were still in the villages and rehabilitation process of these displaced people is going on. There are hundreds of people camping at Girls Higher Secondary school, Boys Higher Secondary school and Degree College Uri with adequate medical assistance and other facilities available,” said Doifode.
About the damage caused due to Pakistani shelling in Uri villages, SDM Uri said that authorities are yet to assess the damage. “Right now our priority is to evacuate people, rehabilitate them and provide facilities to them,” he added.
With intermittent firing and shelling between Indian and Pakistan armies continuing for the third day, the local administration in Uri has established control room in the area. Authorities said that some 100 people have been taken to safer locations since Saturday morning.
Earlier on Thursday three residential houses were damaged when Indian and Pakistani troops traded heavy fire in Haji Peer sector of Uri. On Monday, 4 people sustained injuries when Pakistani shells landed in Tillawari and Churunda villages of Uri.