CHAK ALLAH BAKSH: India was evacuating thousands of people living near the border with Pakistan on Friday as tensions escalate between the neighbors.
Authorities in northern Punjab state said they were evacuating villages within 10 kilometers (six miles) of the border.
Indian sources claimed Thursday that commandos had carried out “surgical strikes” several kilometers inside Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
Islamabad dismissed the talk of surgical strikes as an “illusion” and said two of its soldiers had been killed in small arms fire.
Indian media and sources said Friday that an Indian soldier had been captured after “inadvertently” crossing the LoC in the Himalayan region, although officials on both sides of the border declined to comment.
Officials said some border villages in Jammu and Kashmir had been evacuated as a precautionary measure.
Larger-scale evacuations were organised in Punjab state, which neighbors Jammu and Kashmir, where thousands of people were being moved away from the heavily secured border.
Images from the state showed people piling bedding and cooking equipment onto trailers and cramming into crowded buses as security forces stood guard.
The Punjab government said it was setting up special camps for evacuees in the area. -AFP