Srinagar: Five soldiers, including a Border Security Force (BSF) officer and six civilians were killed, while several others were injured, when Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked heavy shelling and firing from across the Line of Control (LoC) at multiple areas in north Kashmir.
Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that several ammunition dumps and multiple militant launch pads were damaged in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), while Pakistan Army sustained heavy causality during the retaliatory action by Indian troops.
Col Kalia told UNI that Pakistani troops, violating the 2003 ceasefire, fired mortar shells on Friday afternoon, targeting forward posts and civilian areas in Uri, Baramulla.
He said three Army soldiers were killed and as many injured in ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops. ”One of the injured soldier succumbed late in the evening,” he said.
Official sources said that three civilians, including a woman, were also killed in the Pak shelling in Uri.
”The deceased have been identified as Farooqa Begum, Tahir Jalaluddin and Irshad Ahmad,” they said, adding that three more civilians, who were injured during the ceasefire violation, succumbed.
Earlier, a BSF SI, identified as Rakesh Doval, was killed, while another jawan was injured in Uri.
They said Pakistan troops also violated ceasefire in Gurez sector of Bandipora, triggering panic in Izmerg and Bagtore areas of the sector, surrounded by PoK from three sides. ”Five persons, including two minor girls, were injured in the shelling at Bagtore,” they said.
”Pakistani troops opened another front by resorting to unprovoked heavy shelling and firing in Tangdhar sector at frontier Kashmir district of Kupwara,” they added.
The defence ministry spokesperson said that alert troops on Friday foiled an infiltration bid by militants along the LoC in Keran sector. He said the infiltration bid was accompanied by initiation of an unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC in Keran sector.
”Befitting response is being given,” he said.
The ceasefire violation comes days after a BSF constable, an Army officer and two other soldiers were killed during an encounter, which ensued after alert jawans foiled an infiltration bid from PoK in Machil sector of Kupwara on November 8. Three militants were also killed in the operation.
Additional Director General of BSF Surendra Panwar earlier this week said that Pakistan troops were violating the ceasefire to facilitate the militants to infiltrate into Kashmir valley.
However, he said that despite facing all odds, the Indian troops remained on high alert along the LoC to foil any militant attempt to infiltrate into this side.
Asserting that less number of militants managed to infiltrate into this side from PoK as compared to last year due to heightened vigil along the LoC, he said that only 24-25 ultras infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir in 2020.
Panwar said that about 250-300 militants were waiting on launch pads in PoK to infiltrate into this side before the routes were closed due to heavy snowfall. However, he said that the anti-infiltration grid was on high alert, to foil any infiltration attempt.