Tension along LoC rises | Major among 3 killed in IED blast, Pak firing

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/12/2019 11:54:17 AM Front Page

IED in foot-track suspected to be planted by Pak militants

JAMMU: In what was a disastrous day along the Line of Control in Rajouri, an Army Major and a soldier were martyred as an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) suspected to be planted by militants from across the LoC exploded on Friday, even as an Army porter was killed when Pakistani troops continued ceasefire violations for the fourth consecutive day in the district, besides targeting civilians areas and forward posts in neigbouring Poonch district as well.

With the LoC heating up again, the defence ministry has alerted the soldiers against IED blasts and attacks by the border action teams (BATs) of the Pakistan Army, even as the Army retaliated strongly and effectively and has inflicted ‘significant’ damage on the other side of the fence.

“An improvised explosive device was planted by suspected militants in foot-track along the LoC to target Army soldiers patrolling the borderline in Laam belt of Nowshera sector of Rajouri district,” defence ministry sources said.

The blast occurred at around 3 pm at Laam area, resulting in injuries to three soldiers including a Major, they said, adding they were rushed to nearby military hospital where two of them succumbed to injuries.

Sources identified the deceased officer as Major Shashi Dharan V Nair from Pune, Maharashtra, even as identity of the other martyr was not revealed at the time of filing this report.

Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said: “Today one officer and another soldier were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Lam area of Nowshera sector”.

“Immediate resuscitation and medical aid was provided, however, they succumbed to the injuries,” the official added.

Sources said that one more IED blast took in the same sector at around 5:45 pm in which two more soliders are said to be injured, however, the same was not confirmed.

Searches were being carried out in the entire area where explosions took place as there are possibilities of some infiltrators or border action team personnel still hiding in the forest area.

Meanwhile, an Army porter was killed when Pakistani troops continued ceasefire violations for the fourth consecutive day along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts, prompting the Indian Army to retaliate, officials said.

Army porter namely Hem Raj son of Tara Chand resident of Dadal Sunderbani was critically injured when Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing in Sunderbani Sector of Rajouri district, PRO Defence Lt Col Devender Anand said.

He was provided immediate resuscitation and medical aid, but he succumbed to the gunshot wounds, he said.

The Army will provide all possible assistance to the family of martyred porter, the PRO said.

Pakistan troops also resorted to firing and shelling along the LoC in forward areas of the Poonch district, the officials said.

Indian troops guarding the borderline retaliated strongly, resulting in exchange of firing on the both sides, they said.

The year 2018 had witnessed 2,936 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Indo-Pak border, the highest in the last 15 years.

The continuous shelling and firing by Pakistan targeting villages has set in fear psychosis among the border dwellers, the officials said.

Pakistani troops resorted to firing and shelling along the LoC in Poonch eight out of ten days of this month, they said.

On Thursday, Pakistan resorted to firing and shelling in two sectors of Rajouri and Poonch resulting in injuries to an Army major and a BSF jawan in the Tarkundi forward area of Balakote sector.

On Wednesday, Pakistan troops resorted to firing and shelling in the Kalal forward area in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district and small arms and heavy caliber weapons besides shelling in Poonch sector, the officials said.

Despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquility at Indo-Pak flag meetings, Pakistan continues to violate the ceasefire, they said.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh had on Monday visited forward areas along the LoC and reviewed security situation of Jammu and Rajouri districts.

Lt Gen Singh accompanied by the White Knight Corps commander Lt Gen Paramjit Singh also visited forward posts of Rajouri and Akhnoor sectors to review the operational preparedness and the prevailing security situation, the officials said.

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