Army soldier killed in cross-border firing

A soldier was killed as Pakistani troops targeted forward posts and villages along the Line of Control in Rajouri district on Monday, officials said.

“Pakistani troops also suffered casualties and heavy damage to their posts in retaliatory action by the Indian army,” Jammu-based Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Army, Lt Col Devender Anand, said.

However, he said the details of the damage on the Pakistan side are yet to be ascertained.

A police official said the cross-border firing started around 6.30 am and continued intermittently for several hours, causing panic among the border residents who have been advised to take necessary precautionary measures for their safety.

Lt Col Anand said the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation. “They resorted to mortar shelling and firing of small arms in the Sunderbani sector in the early hours, resulting in injuries to Rifleman Mohammad Arif Shafi Alam Khan Pathan,” he said.

Pathan was later air evacuated to the Army Hospital, where he succumbed, he said.

The PRO said Pathan, from Nawayard village in Vadodara district of Gujarat, is survived by his parents. “He was a brave, highly motivated and a sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” he said.

Pertinently, this was the second instance of cross-border firing along the LoC in Jammu region during the past three days. (With PTI inputs)