Pakistani firing along LoC, IB ends after 3 days, claims 10 lives

India and Pakistan at the Line of Control
Calm prevailed along the International Border and the Line of Control in five districts of Jammu and Kashmir overnight after three days of intense shelling by Pakistan which left 10 persons, including six civilians dead, and over 50 others injured.

There was no report of firing by Pakistan along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts since last night, and along the LoC in the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch from 4 am, BSF and police officials said.

International Border was almost calm except a few rounds of shelling in Arnia sector last night, a BSF spokesman said.

He said the firing from across the border stopped in Samba and Kathua districts in the afternoon but was intermittently going on in some areas of Jammu district.

The last few mortar shells landed in Arnia sector around 10 pm yesterday without causing any damage.

There was no report of Pakistani firing from anywhere during the night, he said.

A police official said barring Shahpur sector, the LoC in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri also remained almost calm as there was no major ceasefire violation by Pakistan since last evening.

Small arms firing from across the border were reported from Shahpur sector of Poonch for a few hours till 4 am, but there no casualty, he said.

He said authorities are keeping a close eye on the situation and rushed police teams to affected areas to ensure prompt assistance to the people.

The people were asked to stay indoors and not to touch any suspicious object in their area as it could be unexploded mortar shell, he said adding the people were also asked to inform police or the Army if any such shell is found so that the same can be destroyed.

The firing from across the border started on Thursday and so far 10 persons, two each from the Army and BSF, and six civilians were killed and over 50 others injured.

The firing also forced thousands of people to flee their homes and take shelter in rehabilitation camps or with their relatives.

The ceasefire violations triggered migration of over 35,000 people from their border hamlets as the authorities sounded a red alert and asked people to move to safer areas.

Over 300 educational institutes along the IB and LoC in the Jammu region have been closed for the next three days by the administration in the wake of increased tension due to the shelling.

On Friday, two civilians and two jawans were killed and 35 others, including three jawans, injured in heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan troops on civilian areas and outposts along the IB and LoC in Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

On Wednesday also a BSF jawan and a teenaged girl were killed and 8 others injured in Samba and Jammu districts.

"Pakistan resorted to unprovoked shelling in Gajansoo area of Kanachak sector in Jammu this afternoon and shells fell in the Gajansoo bus stand in which two persons were injured," a police officer said.

He added they were shifted to a hospital and one of them, 25-year-old Tarseem, died later.

Pakistan Rangers also shelled forward hamlets in R S Pura, they said adding that two civilians - 17-year-old Gaura Ram of Kapur R S Pura and 45-year-old Gour Singh of Abdullian were killed and five others injured.

Pakistan army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms and automatics and mortar bombs in Krishnagati sector along LoC in Poonch around 0820 hours, a defence spokesman said adding that the Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively.

In the exchanges, Sepoy Mandeep Singh was injured and later succumbed to his injuries, he said. The 23-year-old belonged to Alampur village of Sangrur district in Punjab and is survived by his father Gurnaam Singh.

Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy unprovoked shelling targeting villages along IB near Chenab river (Akhnoor) to R S Pura throughout the night. The shelling was still on when reports came this morning, a BSF officer said.

Pakistan forces have been directly targeting civilian villages to cause death and destructions, he said adding that the BSF was giving them a befitting reply.

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