Poonch Fratricidal Killings: Soldiers Train Guns At Each Other, 2 Killed

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Srinagar- Two soldiers were killed and as many injured on Friday in a fratricidal incident at an army camp in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

A defense official told Kashmir Observer that the shootout incident took place at 156 Territorial Army battalion premises in Surankote area of the district at around 5:30 am on Friday.

According to the official, the shootout took place when two soldiers exchanged heated arguments over a personal matter and opened fire on each other after losing their calm.

“The bullets also hit other soldiers, leaving them critically injured,” the official, wishing not to be named, told Kashmir Observer.

The four soldiers were identified as Sepoys Ibrar Ahmed and Makhan Singh, Naik Imtiyaz Ahmed and Khalil Ahmed.

However, the official refused to reveal the identity of the two soldiers who opened fire on each other. But, if reports are to be believed then Sepoy Ibrar Ahmed and Naik Imtiyaz Ahmed had fired upon each other.

The official said that one soldier [Sepoy Ibrar Ahmed] died on the spot while the three injured personnel were airlifted to army hospital in Udhampur.

“However, upon reaching the hospital another soldier [Naik Imtiyaz Ahmed] succumbed to his injuries. Naik Khalil Ahmed and Sepoy Makhan Singh are stable now,” the defence official said, adding that the army has ordered a court of inquiry to ascertain the facts related to the incident.

Pertinently, the incident took place when the soldiers were being deployed for Road Opening Party (ROP) duty.

As per a data compiled by The Wire from different sources, between January and August 2020, 18 members of the security forces died by suicide and six died in fratricidal incidents, making a total of 24 such deaths.

The report further stated that in 2019, according to the annual human rights review by the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), 19 members of the armed forces reportedly died by suicide while three were killed in a fratricidal incident in Udhampur district. The total number of deaths by suicide and fratricide for all the 12 months of 2019 was 22.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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