Three Injured In Unprovoked Indian Firing Along LoC: ISPR

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Three were injured when Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday morning, a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

“Indian troops opened fire at Battal, Jandrot and Hotspring sectors at [the] LoC,” the statement said.

The statement added that Pakistani troops were “effectively engaging Indian positions” after the incident.

Local officials, however, claimed that two were killed and four others, including two women, were injured in the incident of cross-border firing.

The casualties took place in different villages of Battal sector in the southern Poonch district where shelling began early morning without any provocation, local officials added.

“The civilian population in the vulnerable villages were caught off guard by the unprovoked firing that started at about 7 am,” Mohammad Usman, a police official in Hajira, a small town in Poonch District, said.

Usman said that two men, one in his late thirties and the other in mid-sixties, were killed after shells landed on their houses.

He identified the deceased as Ghazar Ahmed, son of Rashid, of Kakuta village and Fazal Ahmed, son of Said Khan, in Darra Sher Khan village.

Last week, a woman was killed in a ceasefire violation by Indian troops.

Farzand Begum, 60, wife of Noor Hussain, perished when a shell landed on her house and exploded. She was a resident of Naali village in Bhimber district.

The latest incident of cross-border firing comes days after Indian army had claimed that it carried out an ‘operation’ on Pakistani posts along the LoC in a bid to prevent “infiltrators” from entering India.

However, Pakistan had denied India’s claims.

Tense relations

Incidents of cross-border firing have become a norm since the last months of 2016 as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue. Exchanges of fire have been reported sporadically since the New Year began.

Following the Uri army base attack in September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up a drive to ‘isolate’ Pakistan diplomatically.

In the days following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border ‘surgical strike’ against ‘launch pads of terror’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan strongly rejected.

Pakistan maintains that India has been attempting to divert the world’s attention away from atrocities committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.

Tensions between the two countries soared recently as India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to secure consular access for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan over his involvement in espionage and terrorism.

In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench at The Hague restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav, who India claims is a retired naval officer.

Credit: Dawn

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