India, Pak Troops Trade Fire At LoC; Civilian Killed

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JAMMU – A civilian was killed and four others were injured on Friday when India and Pakistani troops exchanged heavy gunfire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district.

Pakistan Army troopers launched mortar shells and fired from small arms on villages and forward posts in Shahpur and Kerni areas of the district in violation of a ceasefire agreement, officials said.

Pakistan troops used 120-mm mortars to target the villages, they said.

In the firing and shelling, one civilian was killed and four other villagers were injured, they said.

The injured have been taken to a hospital, they said.

Indian troops guarding the border retaliated befittingly resulting in an exchange of fire, which continued till reports last came in, they said.

An Indian soldier was killed and three others were injured as the two estranged armies traded fire in Degwar sector of Poonch on Saturday last week.

On Monday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Rajya Sabha that Pakistan army was involved in a total of 3,479 ceasefire violations along the Jammu and Kashmir border in 2019.

Singh had said that 13 Indian Army personnel and two soldiers of the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed in action in 2019 due to ceasefire violations (CFVs) and cross border firing (CBF).

“In January, February and March, there were 216, 251 and 275 CFVs, respectively by Pakistan along the Jammu and Kashmir border,” Rajnath Singh had said.

“In October, November and December, there were 398, 333 and 393 CFVs, respectively by the neighbouring country along the border,” he had added.

At 190, the lowest number of CFVs in 2019, were observed in the month of June, according to the statistics presented by the defence minister in Rajya Sabha.

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