5 soldiers, 4 civilians killed in Pak firing on LoC

GK Photo

Five soldiers and four civilians were killed in Pakistani firing on the Line of Control in several areas of north Kashmir on Friday, officials said.

An official said that Pakistani troops fired in the Uri sector on Friday morning, resulting in the death of two soldiers and four civilians.

Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said Pakistan used mortars and other weapons and deliberately targeted civilian areas.

“The troops retaliated strongly causing casualties and substantial damage to Pakistan Army’s infrastructure across the LoC,” he said.

“Several ammunition dumps, FOL dumps and multiple terrorist launch pads have been damaged,” the defence spokesman said.

The deceased civilians have been identified as Farooqa Begum resident of Balkote, Tiyib Ahmad Mir resident of Sultan Dhaki, Irshad Ahmad resident of Kamalkote and Afrar Ahmad resident of Gohalan.

The injured have been identified as Hakim Bi of Gohalan, Sarfaraz Lateef of Gohalan, Sajad Ahmad of Balkote and Saif Ali of Kamalkote. Some of the injured persons were immediately shifted to Government Medical College Baramulla where some critically injured persons were referred to Srinagar.

Locals said that it was for the first time that Pakistani troops resorted to firing along all the sectors of Uri. “The Pakistani troops targeted Hajipeer sector, Kamalkote sector, Maya and Lachipora simultaneously,” said Sajad Ahmad, a resident of Balkote.

Seven residential houses also suffered damage in the firing. “Since all the residential houses are located close to the line of control, complete assessment of damage has not been done yet,” said Riyaz Ahmad, Sub Divisional Magistrate Uri.

In the Gurez sector of north Kashmir, Pakistani troops resorted to intense shelling along the line of control resulting in the death of two soldiers and injuries to four others. Five civilians were also injured. Two of the civilians were shifted to SMHS Hospital Srinagar for treatment. The killed soldiers have been identified as Naik Satai Bhusha and Sepoy Jon Dhale. While the injured soldiers are Naik Kale Navnath, Sepoy Khade, Sepoy Uddhav and Sepoy Kirte Yogesh.

In north Kashmir’s Kupwara sector, a Border Security Force sub-inspector was killed when Pakistani troops resorted to firing in the area. The deceased BSF official was identified as Rakesh Dobal.

In Tanghdar sector, two soldiers and a civilian were critically injured after splinters of a shell fired by Pakistani troops hit them. The injured civilians have been identified as Shazia Begum of Hajitara Tanghdar.

Following the intense shelling by Pakistani troops, the Tanghdar market was closed while the internet service was also snapped in the area. In several parts of Kupwara district, mostly close to the line of control, the internet service was snapped by the authorities on Friday afternoon.

A defence spokesperson said that a suspected infiltration bid was foiled by troops along the line of control in Keran sector on Friday. He said the infiltration bid was followed by unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan by firing mortars and other weapons to which a befitting response was given by the Indian troops.

The defence spokesperson said the firing later spread to large areas from Keran to Uri and Gurez sectors. “Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violations along line of control spread across multiple sectors which include Dawar, Keran, Uri and Naugam. Pakistan used mortars and other weapons. And deliberately targeted civilian areas,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)