Officer Among 4 Indian Soldiers Killed In LoC Firing

Jammu—An Army officer and three soldiers were killed and four people, including two teenagers, injured Sunday as armies of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy shelling along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Pakistani forces opened unprovoked heavy firing and shelling along the LoC in Bhimbher Gali sector of Rajouri district this evening forcing Indian troops to retaliate," senior Army officials told PTI.

In the heavy shelling, three soldiers were killed, they said, adding an officer, who was injured in the shelling, later succumbed to his injuries.

Indian Army was giving a befitting reply as heavy exchanges were on, the officials added.

Earlier in the day, two teenagers and a jawan were injured in Shahpur sector of Poonch district in the shelling from across the border which started this morning and was continuing intermittently, a police official said.

He identified the injured civilians as Shahnaz Bano (15) and Yasin Arif (14), both residents of Islamabad village of Shahpur, and said both the teenagers were hospitalised.

A Defence spokesman said Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, and mortars around 11 am.

The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively, he said.

In another ceasefire violation by Pakistan in nearby Rajouri district, the police official said six mortars exploded near Neaka Panjgrain and Tarkundi villages in Manjakote sector around 3:40 pm

The mortars were fired by Pakistani troops and was responded by Indian forces guarding the LoC, triggering an exchange of fire between the two sides which was continuing when last reports were received, he said.

In January alone eight civilians and six security personnel were killed and over 65 injured in cross-border firing in Jammu region.

When reports last came in the intermittent cross-border exchange of firing were going on at both the places.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudary ordered closure of schools close to the borders.

“All 84 Schools located in 0-5KM along LoC from Sunderbani to Manjakote shall remain closed for next 3 days,” DC said.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed anguish over the killings.

“Pained to hear that three soldiers were killed & two injured along the Line of Control in Rajouri. My condolences to the deceased’s families,” Mehooba tweeted

2 civilians killed in Indian firing: Pakistan

A woman and a teenage boy were killed and six others wounded in two districts of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) after Indian troops resorted to shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday, Pakistan media reported.

“Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing in Nezapir sector targeting civil population, which was effectively responded Pakistani forces ” the report quoting Pakistan Army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The report added that a 16-year-old boy Rafaqat, son of Zakar, was killed when he was herding cattle in Akhori Bala village in Nezapir sector in Haveli district.and a 25-year-old woman, identified as Tasleem Begum, daughter of Mohammad Sadiq, was killed in Plani village in Kotli district.



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