India, Pak armies trade fire on LoC in Poonch

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/23/2013 10:34:13 AM

MENDHAR, Oct 22: On a day Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was visiting the International Border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts, Pakistan is said to have opened fire on eight Indian posts in Mendhar, Balnoi and Balakot sub-sectors of Poonch district, today.
Official reports said that fresh firing from the Pakistan side started around 11.50 AM at three forward posts Atma, Sagar and Rocket in Mankot sub-sector and continued for over two hours till 2 PM. The Pakistani troops targeted these posts from their LP, Peer and new HMG Posts.
While in Mendhar and Balakot sub-sectors, Pakistani troops started firing around 11 AM at five forward posts 490, MST, 485 Alpha, 485 and Kanga and continued till 1.30 PM. The Pakistani troops targeted these posts from their Kaman, Panjini forward, Khori, Mochi Tekri, Cheel and Goga Posts.
As per reports, Pakistan troops used LMG, MMG, shells, 82 mm mortar shells and other heavy weaponry to target Indian positions. Indian army jawans also retaliated with equal caliber.
Defence spokesman Col R K Palta said that Pakistan army has violated the ceasefire in Hamirpur area of Bhimber Gali today (Tuesday) morning. “They have used mortars, automatics and small arms to target our positions. Our troops have effectively retaliated Pakistan firing using equal caliber weapons,” the spokesman said.
“The firing started 10.35 AM today (Tuesday) and firing exchanges continued in the area till 11.15 AM,” he added.
The ceasefire violation came barely hours after an earlier firing exchange when Pakistani troops indulged in heavy shelling of Indian positions in R S Pura sector of the International Border in Jammu district late Monday night.
A senior para-military Border Security Force (BSF) officer said Pakistani troops used 82 mm mortars and other heavy weaponry to target positions in Nikowal and Abdullian areas of RS Pura sector.
“The firing started at 9.45 PM Monday. We have retaliated strongly to Pakistan shelling,” the official said.
Since the beginning of this year, Pakistani troops have been frequently violating the bilateral ceasefire which was signed by India and Pakistan in November 2003.
A modicum of normalcy had returned into the lives of thousands of people living close to the Line of Control (LoC) and the international border in Jammu and Kashmir after the ceasefire agreement.
But since the beginning of this year, because of repeated Pakistan ceasefire violations, many families living in border villages have been forced to flee to safer places.



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