Truce along LoC breached twice

TNN Bureau. Updated: 12/29/2017 2:07:16 AM

JAMMU: Continuing the run of unprovoked firing from across the border, Pakistani troops on Thursday violated ceasefire twice in Poonch district as they resorted to indiscriminate firing targeting forward posts and villages along the LoC.
The Indian troops guarding the fence retaliated the firing strongly and effectively while there was no immediate report of any casualty, an official said.
The first ceasefire violation was reported as Pakistani troops fired with small arms for nearly three hours in the morning in three villages of Digwar sector, causing panic among the border residents.
"Using small arms, automatics and mortars they targeted military and civilian facilities in Degwar. It started at 6.30 a.m. Indian positions retaliated effectively and strongly," the defence sources said.
Around 3:45 pm in the evening, the firing from across the border again started, this time at Khari Karmara sector in Poonch. The exchange of firing between the two sides was continuing when last reports were received, an official said, adding that Pakistan fired mortars, automatics and small arms.
However, there was no damage on the Indian side, he said.
"Though mortar shells were falling ahead of the barbed wire fence, people in Khari Karmara villages were staying indoors for safety," the sources said.
It may be pointed out here that Khari Karmara falls opposite to Rawalakote sector, where Indian army commandos had in a cross LoC raid on Sunday killed as many as six Pakistani troopers, in retaliation to the killing of four Indian soldiers including a Major by Pakistani troops in Keri sector of adjoining Rajouri district on Saturday.
On Sunday, Pakistani troops had also targeted forward posts and villages in Shahpur sector of Poonch district for nearly four hours but there was no report of any casualty.
After lull of two days, Pakistan yesterday had again violated ceasefire, targetting Indian forward posts at Nowshera sector in Rajouri district, prompting retaliation by the Indian Army.
The exchange of fire between the two sides had continued for nearly four hours but there was no immediate report of any casualty.
Thursday's ceasefire violation by Pakistan has come a day after Northern Army Commander Lt General Devraj Anbu visited forward areas of Rajouri district on Wednesday and reviewed the security situation and army's operational preparedness there.
It may be mentioned that Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a total of 881 ceasefire violations this year, highest in past seven years, along the LoC and the International Border (IB), resulting in the death of 34 people.
According to officials, Pakistan has violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 771 times till December 10, and 110 times along the IB till November-end.
In these incidents of firing from across the border, 30 people -- 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians and four BSF personnel -- were killed.
In 2016, there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations in which 13 civilians and 13 government forces personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured.

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