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Pak targets schools, civilian areas along LoC; 2 jawans killed in firing

Last updated on: July 18, 2017 22:46 IST

Authorities in Rajouri district evacuated 217 students and 15 teachers from three schools where they were trapped for over six hours.

IMAGE: Army jawans carry coffin of Naik Muddasar Ahmed at a ceremony in Jammu on Tuesday. Ahmed lost his life in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Rajouri on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Two Army jawans were killed and another was injured as Pakistani troops pounded several places, including civilian areas, in Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control on Tuesday, officials said.

Terrorists also made a bid to infiltrate into Kashmir from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir via the Gurez sector which was foiled by the Indian troops who killed one of the infiltrators, the officials said.

The Pakistani troops targeted several areas of Rajouri, Poonch and Kupwara districts of J&K along the LoC, they said, adding the Indian troops retaliated.

The Pakistani shelling put lives of hundreds of school students at risk in Rajouri district.

The authorities rescued 217 students who were trapped in three schools in Kadali and Seha areas of Rajouri near the LoC till, according to Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

An Army Sepoy Jaspreet Singh was killed in the Pakistani shelling in Nowshera sector in Rajouri district, a defence spokesman said.

The 24-year-old jawan hailed from Talwandi in Moga district of Punjab and leaves behind his parents, he added.

“Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Naushera sector in Rajouri at around 1350 (1.50 pm) hours today (Tuesday). Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively,” the defence spokesman said.

In the exchange of fire, Sepoy Jaspreet Singh was grievously injured and succumbed to his injuries, he said.

“The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” he said.

Braving shelling from across the LoC, authorities in Rajouri district evacuated 217 students and 15 teachers from three schools where they were trapped for over six hours.

All the schools in Nowshera and Manjakote sectors of Rajouri district have been closed for an indefinite period in view of repeated firing and shelling by the Pakistani Army, officials said.

Villages like Kalsian, Sair, Bahwani, Namb and Jhangar, which are close to the LoC, have been bearing the brunt of the Pakistani shelling, the officials said.

Altogether 217 students were rescued from three schools, according to Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

Officials said 15 teachers were also evacuated by the police and civic authorities.

They were evacuated in bullet-proof vehicles and three buses, they said.

From the Government High School, Bhawani, 150 students were shifted while 12 trapped students were evacuated from Middle School, Kaladi, the officials said.

The team of rescuers had a narrow escape in Bhawani as they came under heavy shelling, with shells landing a few meters away from the school.

Likewise, 55 students and teachers of Government High School in Sair had a narrow escape as the building came under direct hit of shells, damaging its large portion, they said.

The students and teachers were rescued amid heavy shelling, they said.

More than 150 students have been shifted to camps while other students were handed over to parents.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 0645 hours (6.45 am) in Bhimbher Gali (Rajouri) and Poonch sectors along the LoC, the spokesman said.

According to reports, one jawan suffered minor splinter injuries in the exchange of the fire in the Bhimbher Gali sector.

The Pakistani firing killed another Army jawan in the Nowgam sector of Kashmir valley, an army official said.

The Pakistani Army also targeted civilian areas and Indian army posts along the LoC in Bhimbher Gali and Balakote sectors of Rajouri district as well as the Poonch sector triggering fear among residents.

On Monday, the Pakistan Army had resorted to firing on Indian Army posts in Rajouri, Poonch and Baramulla districts, officials said.

In the exchange of fire, Naik Muddasar Ahmed was killed when mortar shells landed on his bunker. Ahmed, who hailed from Duchoo village, is survived by his wife Shaheena Muddasar and two children.

Pakistan had shelled mortars on civilian areas on Monday also in which nine-year-old Sajada Kouser was killed at Baroti, officials said adding that two other civilians and a jawan were also injured in Rajouri.

There were over a dozen of ceasefire violation by Pak army along LoC in J&K in which seven people including four jawans were killed and 12 injured in the month of July this year.

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