Eight people including three soldiers and a Border Security Force (BSF) officer and four civilians were killed in multiple ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) at Uri, Nowgam, Keran, and Gurez sectors in north Kashmir.
The civilians including a woman and a seven-year-old boy were killed in the incident.
The Army blamed Pakistan for the ceasefire violation along the LoC and said three soldiers were killed in the unprovoked firing. “Pakistan initiated unprovoked firing along the LoC spread across multiple sectors including Dawar, Keran, Uri and Naugam. Pakistani troops used mortars and other weapons,” said defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia. He said that Pakistan deliberately targeted the civilian areas.
“Our troops retaliated strongly causing substantial damage to Pakistan Army’s infrastructure and casualties across the LoC. Several ammunition dumps, fuel dumps and multiple terrorist launch pads have been damaged,” he said.
In the Nowgam sector, a BSF officer posted at Atma Complex was killed in the shelling. He has been identified as sub-inspector, Rakesh Dobal.
Baramulla SSP Abdul Qayoom said that shelling is still going on in some areas of Uri. “Four civilians were killed in Uri and another four were injured.”
The ceasefire violation was reported from sectors starting from Uri to Gurez. All these sectors have witnessed multiple ceasefire violations, this year.
Locals in Uri said the Indian and Pakistani soldiers were targetting each other’s pickets at Haji Peer and Kamalkote sectors on the LoC since morning. They said small arms and mortars have been used during the shelling which has spread panic among the villagers residing near the LoC. “This was one of the deadliest shelling in many years in the Uri sector when four civilians were killed in a day. Some shells hit the houses,” said Iqbal Ahmad, a resident of Uri.
The situation in the main town Uri was tense as ambulances were sent towards the villages on the LoC to ferry injured civilians.
Uri has witnessed over a dozen ceasefire violations in the past six months.
The shelling has also been reported from north Kashmir’s Keran and Gurez sectors since morning where the mortars have landed close to the civilian population near Izmerg, Baktore and Tarabal localities which are just a few kilometers away from the LoC.
From the past one year, the Gurez sector has also witnessed an increase in ceasefire violations from both sides. The shells and mortars landed on the LoC in all parts of Gurez. Two girls were injured in Baktore and they were referred to Srinagar for treatment.
“We were attending an election meeting when the shelling began at around 11 am. The intensity of shelling was heavy and people ran for cover. The markets also got closed and many people took refuge in underground bunkers. Now, the shelling has stopped but people who have underground bunkers have taken shelter in them,” said Zaheer Ahmad, a government official posted in Gurez.
Three civilians were also injured in the Tanghdar sector were shelling was reported from many places along the LoC.
Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said that suspicious movement was observed by Indian troops at the forward posts along the LoC in Keran sector on Friday.
“The suspected infiltration bid was foiled by alert troops. This was accompanied by the initiation of an unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC in the Keran sector by firing mortars and other weapons. A befitting response is being given,” he said.
2 porters, 3 children among 7 injured in Pak shelling in Poonch
On the eve of Diwali, two porters and three children among seven civilians were injured in Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Sawjian sector of Poonch district, prompting India to respond in equal measure.
Poonch district police chief SSP Ramesh Kumar Angral said, “At around 12.10 pm on Friday Pakistan opened heavy fire in Sawjian sector that left seven people injured. The injured included two porters working with the BSF and two children.”
All of them have been admitted to the hospital.
All seven injuries were reported from the Sawjian bus depot as shells exploded there.
Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said, Pakistan started a heavy firing at around 1.45 pm in the Sawjian sector and the Indian Army retaliated befittingly.”
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