In an escalation of cross-border military confrontation, 8 civilians were today killed and 22 injured in Jammu region due to Pakistani shelling, prompting a strong retaliation by Indian army which killed two Pakistani soldiers.
Since early morning, Pakistan troops resorted to heavy shelling of hamlets and military posts in Samba, Jammu, Poonch and Rajouri districts along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani troops used heavy calibre weapons like 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs, army said. “Five people died and nine others were injured in the shelling in Ramgarh sector of Samba district today,” Deputy Commissioner of Samba Sheetal Nanda told PTI.
One person died due to shock during shelling in the same area, raising the toll of those killed in the area to six, she said. While three of the injured were given treatment in Ramgarh hospital, the rest were shifted to GMC hospital in Jammu, she said.
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The casualties took place during shelling in Jarda and Rangoor camp villages along the IB in Ramgarh sector.
Along the LoC, two women were killed in firing and shelling by Pakistani troops in Panjgrian border hamlet in Manjakote belt of Rajouri district, Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri Shabir Ahmed Bhat said.
He said three army porters suffered injuries in the shelling in Noushera sector of the district and they have been hospitalised. Pakistani shells landed in Mendhar town of Poonch district, injuring three people, police said.
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“Pakistani Rangers started firing with small arms followed by mortars at one place and further spread to four or five places in Ramgarh and Arnia sectors of Samba and Jammu district from 0630 hours,” DIG BSF (G) Dharmendra Pareek said.
They fired 82 mm mortar bombs intermittently, Pareek said, adding, BSF gave them a befitting reply. A woman aged between 21 to 22 years died during shelling in a hamlet in Ramgarh sector of Samba district, SSP Samba Joginder Singh said. Six persons have been injured in the ceasefire violations since yesterday.
At 0710 hours, three mortar shells landed in border village of Pindi in Arnia sector of Jammu district, injuring four persons identified as Bodraj (44), Niky, Dharana Devi and Chanchla Devi (49), he said.
Two women, Robiya Kouser (28) and Tasveer Bi (24), were injured in Pakistani shelling in Mendhar sector of Poonch district last evening and have been hospitalised, police said.
Earlier, Defence PRO Lt Col Manish Mehta said Pakistani troops indulged in unprovoked ceasefire violation along the Line of Control in Naushera sector of Rajouri district from 0530 hours using small arms, automatics,82 and 120 mm mortars.
There have been more that 60 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC and IB in the state since surgical strikes against terror launch pads by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.