J-K: 7 civilians dead as Pakistan continues heavy shelling in border areas

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Shelling from across the border killed seven civilians in Jammu and Kashmir’s border districts on Tuesday as Pakistan continued to pound Indian villages and army posts, the latest flare-up between the two countries amid plummeting bilateral ties.

Police said two children – a five-year-old and a seven-year-old– and a woman were killed in Ramgarh’s Rangoor Camp. Two women died in Rajouri district while a 18-year-old woman was killed in Ramgarh when a Pakistani mortar exploded in her kitchen as she was cooking. A 65-year-old man also was also killed in shelling in the same area.

Fourteen others were injured, among them a one-year old baby, who suffered serious shrapnel injuries in the spine. Pakistan continues to hit villages and army forward posts along the international border and the Line of Control in Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts.

Tensions across the border have mounted since suspected Pakistani militants attacked an army base in Kashmir’s Uri and killed 19 soldiers. Indian forces crossed the Line of Control and struck temporary militant bases weeks later.

Since then, Pakistan has targeted several Indian villages and posts, and the intensity of shelling across the border has increased. Security forces say Islamabad often uses shelling and mortar fire to provide cover for infiltrators.

“While on the night of October 31 and November 1 (Monday night) Pakistani guns remained quiet on the international border, at 6.30am on Tuesday morning Pakistan Rangers started firing with small arms followed by a small mortar at one place,” Border Security Force Jammu frontier deputy inspector general, Dharmender Pareekh, said.

“They further spread the fire at four to five places in Ramgarh and Arnia sub-sectors in Samba and Jammu districts. Pakistan also shot 82 mortars.” He said that BSF is giving a befitting reply to the enemy fire.

India and Pakistan agreed on a ceasefire in 2003 but both the sides have accused each other of regularly violating the agreement.

Rajouri deputy commissioner Shabir Ahmed Bhat told HT the two women killed in Rajouri were identified as Sultan Begum, wife of Sarfraz Khan and Maqbool Begum, wife of Mohammed Zameer of Naika Top.

Five-year-old Abhi, seven-year-old Rishabh, and Anju Devi– all residents of Rangoor Camp in Ramgarh sub sector — died in Pak shelling, said Suraj Pathania, station house officer of Ramgarh.

Early on Tuesday morning, 18-year-old Ravinder Kaur of Jerda village in Ramgarh sub-sector was killed after a Pakistani mortar exploded in her kitchen.

Three army porters were injured in Kalal area of Naushera sector in Rajouri district after they were hit by a Pak mortar. They were identified as Som Raj, son of Paras Ram, Daljeet kumar, son of Daljeet Kumar, both residents of Kallal and Prem kumar, son of Ashok kumar of Rumlidhara.

One person was also injured in Malik Pur in Gohlad in Mendhar sector.

A police officer said that at 7.10am three mortar shells exploded in village Pindi in Arnia sub-sector injuring three people. The injured have been identified as Chanchala Devi, 49, Bodh Raj, 38, and Darshana Devi, 60, – all residents of Pindi Charkan village in Arnia sector of Jammu district. Similarly, Pakistan started firing 82 mm mortars at 6.25am in Narayanpur and violated the ceasefire in Naushera sector in Rajouri district as well. -ht

The Pashtun Times

 

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