Pakistan targets Indian posts hours after 5 die in cross-border firing

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Jammu: Pakistani forces targeted 12 Indian posts late on Wednesday night along the Line of Control in Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the latest reports, a civilian was injured in the mortar shelling by Pakistani troops through the night. This is the third ceasefire violation by Pakistan in two days.

Four Pakistani rangers were killed in BSF’s strong retaliaton after a jawan of the Indian force lost his life in heavy firing from the other side on a patrol on Monday along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district.

The retaliation which forced the rangers to wave white flags came on a day when the Government asked the Border Security Force (BSF) to provide a “suitable and appropriate reply” for any unprovoked firing from across the Indo-Pak border.

Wednesday’s firing by Pakistan in which one jawan was also injured was the second ceasefire violation along the IB in the past 24 hours.

“We have retaliated effectively to the Pakistani firing, in which four Pakistani rangers have been killed (opposite to Regal post) along the IB in Samba sector this evening,” Inspector General (IG) BSF, Jammu Frontier Rakesh Sharma said in Jammu.

As Pakistani rangers suffered casualties, they waved white flags asking BSF to stop the firing so that they can lift the bodies of its dead men, he said.

“Honouring their request we stopped the firing and allowed them to come to the border line and lift the bodies,” he said adding, “firing along the border line has now stopped”.

In the morning, Pakistan Rangers targeted a BSF patrol party by resorting to firing along the IB in Samba district.

There was heavy firing by Pakistan on a patrolling party of BSF along the IB in Suchtegarh forward belt in Samba sector, Inspector General (IG) BSF, Jammu Frontier Rakesh Sharam said.

In the heavy firing, one BSF jawan was killed, the IG said, adding that the BSF troops were on routine patrol when they were attacked.

The deceased jawan has been identified as Constable Sri Ram Gowria, the IG said. Another jawan suffered minor injuries, reports said.

Sharma, who has rushed to the spot and supervising the operation, said BSF troops took positions, gave a befitting reply. There were also reports of firing in other areas in Kathua and Samba district.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked the BSF to give a befitting reply when the paramilitary force’s Director General D K Pathak briefed him about the prevailing situation in Jammu frontier.

“The Home Minister asked the DG, BSF to provide a suitable and appropriate reply for any such unprovoked firing,” an official statement released in Delhi said.

Pathak gave a detailed presentation to the Home Minister about the ceasefire violations by Pakistan Rangers in the Samba sector.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the Indian security forces should not hold back in the face of firing and must retaliate with “double the force”.

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