Srinagar: A 5-year-old girl and a Border Security Force (BSF) official were killed as Pakistani troops intensified mortal shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on Monday.
Half a dozen security personnel and ten civilians were also injured in the attack.
The BSF and Army officials in Jammu said that the Pakistani troops violated the November 2003 ceasefire twice during the day as they targeted the Indian forward positions and civilian areas in Poonch’s Krishna Ghati, Mankote, Kerni, Shahpur, Degwar and Gulpur.
“They resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire early Monday morning and also in the afternoon. The own forces retaliated befittingly and strongly by using the same calibre weapons,” an Army official in winter capital said.
A BSF spokesman said that an Inspector of the paramilitary force was killed and four other jawans were injured in the Pakistani shelling. He added that the injured jawans were out of danger.
Earlier, a 5-year-old girl, Sobia Shareef was killed in the Pakistani shelling and at different locations along the de facto border, the police sources said.
Confirming that death of BSF official, Mendhar (Poonch)’s sub-divisional police officer Neeraj Padiyar said that T Alex Lalminlun of the BSF’s 168th Battalion was critically injured in the Pakistani shelling in Krishna Ghati sector and succumbed in a military hospital in the garrison town of Udhampur later. He said that four other BSF jawans were also injured in cross-LoC shelling.
The officials said that several mortars fired from across the LoC fell in civilian areas in Shahpur and Kerni sectors and at some other places causing panic among border dwellers. They said that this was the fourth consecutive day that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri. They said that on Monday the Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire at around 7.40 am by shelling mortars and firing with small arms along the LoC in Shahpur and Kerni sectors. “The Indian Army retaliated befittingly and strongly,” the police officials said adding that the exchanges spread to a few other areas in the district later during the day.
They further said that some mortar shells landed in different villages of Qasba, Kerni, Guntariyan and Shahpur area, forcing the people to stay indoors and take precautionary measures to avoid harm coming to them. However, one person Muhammad Shareef was hit by splinters of a mortar shell which exploded near his house at Haveli village in Shahpur sector, they said. Nine other civilians were injured elsewhere.
In view of the cross-LoC flare-up, the district administration of Poonch closed schools in several areas falling in close proximity of the de facto border in the district “as a precautionary measure”.
Meanwhile, an Army jawan was killed on Sunday after he came under a landslide in Machael sector of the LoC in north-western Kupwara district. The police said that the Army jawan identified as Hawildar Satveer Singh of 45 Rashtriya Rifles was part of a patrolling party when he came under the landslide near Ashwani Post of the LoC. Singh was a resident of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh....