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LoC rocked by 'biggest ceasefire violation' in recent times

Last updated on: August 10, 2013 12:34 IST

Amid heightened tension on the border over the killing of five Indian soldiers, Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire yet again by firing 7,000 rounds of heavy ammunition and mortar shells for seven hours at Indian posts along the Line of Control, in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir .

The fresh ceasefire violation late on Friday, which the Indian Army termed as the "biggest ceasefire violation" in recent times, comes four days after five Indian soldiers were killed by specialist troops of the Pakistan Army on the LoC.

There was no loss of life in the firing from across the border as the Indian Army fired back effectively.

"Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on several Indian forward posts along the LoC in Durga Battalion area in Poonch district around 22.20 hours last night," defence spokesman S N Acharya said today.

"They fired 7000 rounds of heavy weaponry -- Pika ammunition and medium mortars -- targeting several Indian posts in order to cause heavy causalities till 04.30 hours, the spokesman said, adding that it was the "biggest ceasefire violation".

Army troops guarding the borderline took positions and fired back effectively, he said, adding that troops also fired 4595 rounds of Medium Machine Guns, INSAS rifles and KPWT Machine guns besides 111 RPGs, 11 rockets and 18 mortar shells of 81 mm in retaliatory action.

There was no loss of life in the firing from across the border, the spokesman said, adding the border area remains tense.

The sound of heavy firing and mortar blasts was heard in Poonch town and the firing exchanges triggered panic among the people living in the area.

A group of 20 heavily armed men led by Pakistani troops had entered 450 metres into Indian territory in the Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir on August 6 and ambushed a patrol, killing five Indian soldiers.

Defence Minister A K Antony had blamed the Pakistan Army for the "brutal" act and also warned that last Tuesday's incident will have "consequences" on India's behaviour on the Line of Control and on relations with Pakistan.

"It is now clear that specialist troops of Pakistan Army were involved in this attack when a group from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir side crossed the LoC and killed our brave jawans," he had said.

Taking a hard position, Antony had told Parliament that the "brutal and unprovoked" attack on Indian side of the LoC in Poonch sector "outraged us all" and "naturally, this incident will have consequences on our behaviour on the LoC and for our relations with Pakistan."

Sending out a message to Pakistan, he said, "Our restraint should not be taken for granted; nor should the capacity of our armed forces and resolve of the government to uphold the sanctity of LoC ever be doubted."

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