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2 soldiers killed after Pak violates ceasefire; India hits back strongly

Last updated on: November 06, 2016 19:21 IST

Two army jawans were killed and five others -- two soldiers, two civilian women and a Border Security Force officer -- were injured as Pakistani army opened unprovoked firing along the Line of Control in Krishna Ghati and Poonch sectors of Poonch district on Sunday, violating the ceasefire.

In Krishna Ghati, Pakistani army opened fire in a bid to facilitate two infiltration bids, killing one soldier, an army officer said, adding that the attempts to push in infiltrators have been foiled.

In Poonch sector, at least four places came under indiscriminate shelling and firing by Pakistani army, targeting civil and defence facilities and civilian areas. An army jawan was killed and five others were injured in the Pakistani firing in Poonch sector which continued till last reports came in, the officer said.

The Indian army said that while the infiltration bids were foiled, it has also inflicted heavy damage to several Pakistani posts across the Line of Control in Poonch sector.

"One soldier was killed in Krishna Ghati sector earlier in the day while foiling infiltration bids, another soldier was killed and five others were injured in cross-border firing in the Poonch sector of Poonch district," the officer said.

The soldier killed in the Krishna Ghati sector has been identified as Sepoy Gursewak Singh (23) of 22 Sikh Regiment. Singh is a resident of Taran Taran area of Punjab.

The injured women have been identified Saleema Akhtar and Zareefa Begum, both residents of Poonch. Zareefa Begum works as a special police officer. They have been admitted to a hospital in Poonch where their conditions were stated to be stable, a police officer said.

The soldier killed Poonch sector has been identified as Naik Tukpare Rajendra Narayan of Maharashtra's Kolhapur district.

A sub-inspector of BSF, identified as Nitin Kumar, also sustained splinter injuries and he was evacuated to the Army hospital where his condition is stated to be stable, a BSF officer said.

Meanwhile, the army said that unprovoked ceasefire violation in Poonch sector continued.

"Unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan army in Poonch sector from 1015 hours using 120 mm mortars, 82 mm mortars and automatic weapons," an army spokesman said, adding that "our troops are responding befittingly, there has been heavy damage to Pakistan army posts."

"The army foiled two infiltration bids on the intervening night of November 5, 6 along Line of Control (LoC) in Krishna Ghati Sector," he said.

"The infiltrators opened fire while trying to sneak back towards Pakistan-occupied Kashmir side of the Line of Control. In the ensuing firefight with infiltrators, Sepoy Gursewak Singh suffered gunshot wound and succumbed to his injuries while being evacuated," he said.

Sunday's ceasefire violation on the border came after a lull of two days when an uneasy calm prevailed along the LoC and the International Border.

"The violation of the ceasefire agreement by the Pakistani side has become a rule rather than an exception after the Indian Army on September 28 night carried out surgical strike against terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control," officials said.

Expressing concern on the situation along the borders former J-K chief minister Omar Abdulla tweeted, "Condolences to the families of the brave soldiers. The situation along the border/LoC is a matter of grave concern (sic)."

There have been over 100 ceasefire violations on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir after the surgical strike.

An army officer said that there have been 84 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along LoC in Jammu region falling under 16 Corps area. As many as 16 ceasefire violations have been recorded along LoC in Kashmir region falling under 15 Corps area, he said.

The worst-ever Pakistani shelling targeting civil population took place on November 1 when eight persons, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 others injured along the IB and the LoC in five sectors of J&K, forcing Indian troops to give befitting reply by destroying 14 Pakistani posts and killing two of their troopers.

The state government had closed over 400 schools along the IB and the LoC in Jammu region in wake of the ongoing heavy cross-border firing.

A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, were killed and more than 83 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had on Wednesday asked the army personnel posted along the Line of Control to remain alert and give a befitting response to any "misadventure" from across the border.

While complimenting their valour and fortitude, which Parrikar said was the entire nation's pride, he also impressed upon the soldiers to remain in a very high state of alert to give a befitting response to any misadventure from across. There is over 510km of LoC with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.

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