Two Pak troops killed in heavy Army retaliation


JAMMU, Two Pakistan army personnel were killed in effective retaliation of ceasefire violations by the Indian troops along Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber Gali sector while Pakistani troops heavily pounded civilian areas and forward posts of the Army in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district during the day today.
Sources said the Indian Army had to retaliate very effectively to silence Pakistani guns, which were firing mortar shells of 120mm and 82mm in entire Bhimber Gali sector targeting forward posts of the Army and civilian population. During retaliation, two Pakistan army personnel were killed, they added.
However, there were no casualties on the Indian side but some houses suffered minor damage as mortar shells exploded close to the populated areas. Some cattle were also reported to have been injured.
After the killing of two Pakistan army personnel, the mortar shelling and heavy firing with automatic and semi-automatic weapons have stopped, sources said.
Pakistani ambulances were seen shifting bodies of slain Pakistani army troops. There were couple of injuries also on Pakistan army troops, they added.
Pakistani troops today started heavy mortar shelling and firing in forward areas of Nowshera sector in Rajouri district at 1.45 pm today. The Indian side gave befitting response to the shelling and firing, leading to heavy exchanges that continued till late tonight.
Baba Khori, Sher Makri, Number, Sher Shalak, Kharli and Jhanghar areas in Nowshera sector were the worst hit by Pakistan’s mortar shelling from 1.45 pm to 3.50 pm and from 5.30 pm onwards. However, no casualties or major damage had been reported on the Indian side.
A mortar shell fell in the house of Nazar Mohammad at Pukharni, causing injuries to the cattle while family of Nazar had very narrow escape.
Nearly 20 forward villages came under intense shelling from Pakistan side with 120mm and 82mm mortars in Nowshera sector.
The civilian population in shelling hit villages remained confined to their houses throughout the day as the panic-stricken villagers feared that Pakistan could target them anytime.
“This is probably the very rare occasion when Pakistan army was directly pounding the populated villages with heavy 120mm and 82mm rockets and firing with automatic weapons. However, so far, there has been no civilian casualties in the fresh round of firing by Pakistani troops in Nowshera sector,” sources said but added that Pakistan army was trying to kill the civilians by directly targeting the residential areas.
Last month, three civilians were killed in Pakistan shelling and firing in Nowshera sector.
Sources said Pakistani troops have suffered heavy damages of their posts and bunkers in retaliatory firing brought down by the Indian troops. At some places, Pakistan army has been seen rebuilding their damaged posts and bunkers away from the forward areas.
Sources said tensions have escalated along the LoC after the visit of Pakistan army chief Qamar Bajwa in Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and some forward areas opposite Poonch and Rajouri districts.
Sources said the authorities in both Poonch and Rajouri districts were monitoring situation in the shelling-hit villages but so far there has been no migration in any area. Authorities were ready to meet with any eventuality and have kept Contingency Plan in place, if the need arises.
“Most of the villages in forward areas were completely deserted with people not moving out of their houses even after mortar shelling stopped at some places in the afternoon anticipating spurt in hostilities along the LoC,” sources said.
Authorities have made arrangements for evacuating the civilians in case the situation warrants or there was any injury in Pakistan firing and shelling.