Army Guns Down 5 on LOC

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SRINAGAR:  Army on Friday said at least five infiltrators were shot dead in an encounter along the Line of Control in Gurez sector of north Kashmir’s Bandipore district.

A senior defence ministry official said that army’s 36 RR, deployed along the LoC, challenged a group of militants who tried to sneak into Indian side near Nowshera in Kanzalwan area of Gurez last night.

The group of infiltrators after being challenged opened indiscriminate fire with sophisticated weapons which was retaliated by the army manning the fence, he said.

During the initial gunfight two unknown militants were killed while other members of the group took cover in the rocks and bushes.

“Today early in the morning, the forces along with the additional reinforcement started massive combing operation in the dense forest area and intercepted the hiding militants,” the official said, adding that the forces again engaged them in an encounter which lasted for several hours, resulting into the killing of three more militants.

“The bodies of all the five slain militants have been recovered along with as many AK-47 rifles and other war like stores,” he said. The bodies of the militants were later handed over to concerned police station for identification and further legal formalities, the official said. The search operation in the area is still going on, the official added. 

Guns blaze along LOC

The Indian and Pakistani armies exchanged gunfire and mortars in Balakote sector of Poonch along Line of Control resulting in injuries to two people including an army soldier from this side while 4 deaths were reported from across the border.

Defence officials in Poonch said that Pakistan army “violated” ceasefire by firing with small and large arms on Indian posts and villages. “Today at 6:30 am, heavy shelling and firing was started by Pakistan and we also retaliated. The shelling continued till 10:30 am,” they said, adding that then another phase of shelling started at 11:30 and continued till 2:00.

The defence officials said that the firing between two sides was on intermittently throughout the day. They said that two persons including a soldier were injured in the Pakistan firing. The injured have been identified as Sepoy Karamjeet Singh of 49 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and the civilian has been identified as 24 year old Muhammad Ashraf.

In the meanwhile, the Pakistan media reported that 4 persons were killed in the “Indian shelling” along LoC. The Pakistan media reported that 3 persons were killed yesterday while a girl died today.

Both the armies accused each other of violating ceasefire first. The Indian Deputy Commissioner was summoned by Pakistan government in capital Islamabad and lodged “strong protest” against the ceasefire violations, media reports added. 

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