Pakistani troops again open heavy fire at Indian posts


Jammu: In what could be the most serious violation of ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, Pakistani troops have again opened fire at Indian forward posts in Poonch since Tuesday afternoon, army officials said.

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Pakistani troops opened machinegun fire at Sabzian sector along the LoC in Poonch sector, about 230 km north of Jammu, apparently to provide fire cover to a group of intruders, according to army sources. The Indian side too retaliated.

The fire that started at 4 p.m. continued late into Tuesday night. It was not known whether any side suffered any casualties.

This exchange of fire at Sabzian was preceded by a spate of rocket and machine gun fire in Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch’s Mendhar area, 200 km north of Jammu early Tuesday morning. The exchange of fire lasted for almost an hour, a brigadier of Army’s 16 corps told IANS.

The Pakistani troops from Kaddu post fired at Kranti post on the Indian side, the officer said, adding that the firing was unprovoked. There were no casualties.

Pointing out that this was yet another violation of the November 2003 ceasefire agreement between the two countries, the officer said the Indian side retaliated to the firing.

“These are clearly ceasefire violations, though it was not clear whether it was a cover fire for intruders or Pakistani troops were firing on their own to raise tensions on the LoC,” the army officer said.

More than a dozen infiltration bids have taken place along the LoC and international border in Jammu region, since the beginning of 2010.

These attempts have come at a time when Jammu and Kashmir recorded 2009 as a low violence year.

Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda has also voiced concern over the aggressive Pakistani designs to push in terrorists from across to the Indian side. “This is our biggest concern,” he told reporters recently.

Meanwhile, the army and the Border Security Force (BSF) have increased the vigil all along the border.