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Ahead of Jaitley’s J&K visit, Pak pounds forward posts
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 13
Just a day before Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden visit to Jammu and Kashmir beginning tomorrow, the Pakistani Army today pounded Indian forward posts and half-a-dozen villages with mortar shells and automatic weapons on the north and south of Bhimber Gali (BG) sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

The gun fight then spread to Mendhar, Hamirpur and Gambhir forward areas along the LoC in the two border districts.

It was the first major ceasefire violation by Pakistan troops since the BJP-led NDA regime came to power in May. “Heavy shelling that started around 7 am soon spread to nearly 25-km stretch to the north and south of Bhimber Gali (BG). Most of the Indian posts gave a fitting reply to the unwarranted and unprovoked act of Pakistan Army,” said a senior Army officer.

Today’s incident comes a day after two “IED blasts” in Tarkundi area of Poonch district left a soldier dead and seven others, including a Major, wounded.

Since January 1, there have been 28 truce violations by the Pakistan Army on the LoC to the south of the Pir Panjal range, in the two districts. “Besides automatic weapons and small arms, Pakistan Army troops fired 81 mm mortars, a battalion level area weapon at our posts drawing a similar response from our troops. Some of their mortars might have exploded close to our forward villages,” he said.

However, there were no casualties or injuries to our troops or civilians, 
he added.

“Heavy shelling by Pakistan caused panic among the people at Rahallian, Lanjiote, Parote and Sandot villages in Mendhar and Balakote areas. There were reports of loss of cattle in some villages,” said an Intelligence source.

Source said in the retaliatory fire by Indian troops, two Pakistan soldiers, a woman and a child were injured in Nakyal sector of PoK opposite Tarkundi area, the place where two blasts had occurred yesterday killing an Indian jawan, besides injuring seven others, including a Major.



Maintain sanctity of LoC: Omar

Jammu, June 13
Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said sanctity of the Line of Control (LoC) should be maintained at any cost.

Interacting with mediapersons here, the Chief Minister observed that ceasefire was one of the biggest confidence-building measures that has been given to people of the J&K by governments of both India and Pakistan.

“Ceasefire should be maintained for the peace in this region,” he said. — TNS





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