India, Pak trade fire along LoC | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 03, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:58 AM, April 03, 2019

India, Pak trade fire along LoC

3 Pak soldiers killed; schools along borderline districts in J&K closed

Three Pakistani soldiers were killed and seven Pakistani posts across the LoC were destroyed as the Indian Army retaliated to cross-border shelling by Pakistani troops who targeted border areas in Rajouri and Poonch districts, officials said yesterday.

As a precautionary measure, all schools along the borderline in Poonch and Rajouri districts have been closed by authorities in view of the Pakistani shelling.

On Monday, a BSF inspector and a five-year-old girl were among three persons killed while 24 others were injured as Pakistani troops heavily shelled forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district, prompting the Indian Army to retaliate "befittingly", said officials.

"There was heavy mortar shelling and firing along LoC in Poonch district and Nowshera sector of Rajouri district till Tuesday morning", officials said.

There was also firing and shelling by Pakistan troops in Shahpur sub-sector in Poonch and Nowshera yesterday, they said.

In the retaliation carried out by Indian troops, seven Pakistan posts across the LoC in Rakhchikri and Rawalakote forward areas of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) were destroyed, they said, adding there have been several causalities on the Pakistan side.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan has said three Pakistan Army soldiers were killed yesterday in retaliation carried out by Indian forces along the LoC, reported PTI.

Subedar Mohammad Riaz from Jhang, Lance Havaldar Aziz Ullah from Noshero Feroz, and Sepoy Shahid Mansib from Abbottabad embraced martyrdom while one soldier got injured, said the military's media wing.

The ISPR said that the Army responded to Indian firing in a befitting manner, adding there were reports of casualties on Indian side of the LoC.

Pakistan has been using heavy weaponry and 120 mm mortar bombs to target civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch, triggering panic among villagers.

Amid the ongoing shelling by Pakistan, people have been advised to stay indoors, the officials said.

Tensions have been running high between India and Pakistan in the wake of a suicide attack on an Indian military convoy in Pulwama district of Indian-occupied Kashmir on February 14, which killed more than 40 paramilitary troops.

In what was the most serious military crisis in South Asia since 2008, Indian and Pakistani warplanes engaged in a dogfight on February 27, a day after a raid by Indian jet fighters on what New Delhi said was a militant camp in Pakistan. Islamabad denied any militant camp exists in the area and said the Indian bombs exploded on an empty hillside.

Pakistan downed an Indian plane for violating its airspace and captured its pilot after he ejected in AJK, reported Dawn online.

The tensions de-escalated after Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to release the Indian pilot as a peace gesture, and following concerted diplomatic efforts by countries including the United States, China and the UAE.

Nevertheless, ceasefire violations along the de-factor border have been occurring regularly.

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