Pak Says Its 3 Soldiers Killed As LoC Shelling, Firing Unabated  

SRINAGAR — There was let up in cross LoC shelling and firing between India and Pakistan with later claiming killing of its three soldiers in ‘unprovoked firing’.

Quoting a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), reported three soldiers were killed by the Indian army across the LoC at Rakhchikri Sector in Rawalkot and identified them as

Subedar Mohammad Riaz from Jhang, Lance Havaldar Aziz Ullah from Noshero Feroz, and Sepoy Shahid Mansib from Abbottabad .

The ISPR said that the Army responded to Indian firing in a befitting manner, adding there were reports of casualties on Indian side of the LoC.

A day earlier, the report said an elderly villager was killed while two women and three young boys were injured in Pakistan controlled Kashmir in “unrelenting ceasefire violations by Indian troops across the LoC.”

According to police, Indian troops had resorted to shelling in Nezapir sector at about 7am, using small and heavy weapons. The shelling was largely restricted to military posts on opposite sides “but occasionally the Indian army would also pound civilian settlements”, a police official had said.

Meanwhile, four civilians were injured along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu.

A police officer said Pakistan army attacked Indian posts by resorting to “unprovoked” shelling and firing at many areas along the LoC including Shahpur, Kerni, Mankote and Mendhar.

The troops manning the fence responded strongly which resulted in heavy exchange of cross-LoC shelling in these areas, he said.

The officer said Pakistani troops attacked residential areas which resulted in injuries to four civilians including two girls in Shahpur sector.

The injured were identified as Mohammad Rashid son of Mohammad Sadiq of Banwat Shahpur, Mohammad Shareef son of Mohammad Hussain, Nafeeza Akthar (17) daughter Mohammad Maroof and Zareena Akther (44) wife of Muzaffar Hussain, residents of Pojra Bandi Chichyan. The injured were taken to district hospital Poonch for treatment.

Meanwhile, Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said that around 5 p.m., the Pakistanis used mortars and small arms to target Indian positions along the LoC in Shahpur and Kerni sectors of Poonch district.

“Indian positions retaliated and heavy firing exchanges are now going on between the two sides,” the spokesman said.

A 6-year old girl, a woman and an Inspector of the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed and 13 others injured in indiscriminate shelling and firing by the Pakistan Army in the same sectors a day earlier.

Authorities closed all educational institutions within a five kilometre distance of the LoC in Poonch district as a precaution.

Earlier, firing exchanges started between the two armies in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district at about 11.30 a.m.

Pak’s Top Generals Review Situation 

Pakistan’s top military commanders on Tuesday reviewed the situation along the country’s border with India and vowed to defend the nation against “any misadventure or aggression”, amid heightened Indo-Pak tensions.

The 220th Corps Commanders conference chaired by Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi “reviewed geo-strategic environment and ongoing situation along the Eastern border,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) – the army’s media wing – said in a statement.

The commanders expressed “strong will, resolve and determination to defend the country against any misadventure or aggression”, it added.

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after a suicide bomber from Pulwama killed 49 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.

India claimed to have launched strikes in Balakot on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was handed over to India on March 1.

The Generals reiterated to continue “efforts for bringing enduring peace in the country while supporting all initiatives towards regional peace,” the statement said.

The forum “expressed its resolve to support government and all stakeholders in implementation of the National Action Plan,” it said.

The NAP was launched after a deadly Taliban attack on an army run school in Peshawar in December 2014 that killed nearly 150 people, mostly students.

“Having achieved stability against terrorism, Pakistan is on positive trajectory of becoming a state where prerogative of use of weapons rests with the state alone and socio-economic development is taking pre-eminence,” Gen Bajwa said.


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