Bunkers being rebuilt along LoC: Blackout ordered as threat alert issued in AJK

CHAKOTHI: Bunkers are being rebuilt and a blackout has been ordered, but schools and bazaars remained open Thursday in Chakothi, after a deadly attack sent tensions with neighboring India soaring.

Residents were worried but life was going on in the village of some 3,000 inhabitants just three kilometres (two miles) from the “Line of Control.” Schoolchildren attended classes as usual and customers crowded the markets and stalls of the bazaar.

Shabbir Ahmed Pirzada, a resident of Chakothi, decided to rehabilitate an old bunker next to his house that was first built in 2000, when the Indian army frequently bombarded the area.

“God forbid, if such situation develops, we can save ourselves in the bunker. We are not afraid, as we have seen Indian shelling in the past,” he said.

Local authorities have encouraged residents in areas near the Line of Control to take additional precautions against the risk of “mischievous action” by the Indian army.

“Bunkers should be constructed in areas where they don´t exist. Unnecessary lighting should be avoided after sunset and people should refrain from travelling on roads located close to LoC,” the local disaster management agency has warned residents.

“We are scared for our children when they go to school,” said Jamila Kathoon, a housewife, pointing out that the local school had been hit by shelling in the past.

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