SRINAGAR: Amid the tensions and IAF pre-dawn raids at Balakote in Pakistan side, the weekly cross-LoC barter trade was a routine affair between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, reports from Uri said.

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Tuesday witnessed the exchange of 67 goods laden trucks from the two sides – 35 went from Kashmir and 33 came from Muzaffarabad.

Interestingly, the barter trade is operating between two border points through Kaman Bridge – Slamabad near Uri on this side and Chakothi from Muzaffarabad side. Initial media reports from Delhi had claimed that Chakothi was also hit in the raid.

The traffic movement was earlier suspended following the attack on paramilitary men in Awantipora that claimed the life of 49 troopers.

The goods laden trucks were allowed to exchange the cross the Line of Control, the de facto border, and 35 trucks were allowed to leave from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad and 33 trucks came to this side from Pakistan.

The cross-LoC trade, which takes place between the divided sides from Tuesday to Friday, took place as usual. The trade, which works on the barter system between the divided parts, started in October 2008.

Residents in Uri said they woke up in panic as around 3:30 am there was massive overflight of the fighter jets. “We thought a war had actually broken out,” one resident said. “But there was no explosion that we could hear.” He said the Uri being the most forward position that is surrounded by Pakistan from three sides is prone to shelling and losses. However, the residents are keen that they must have enough bunkers to save their skin as the tensions have not ebbed so far.

Chakothi is the first major town that is closer to Uri. In fact, the two towns are inhabited by cousins.


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