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3 Jammu villagers hurt in Pak shelling
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 22
Intense shelling by the Pakistani forces on International Border in Jammu today left three civilians injured and four houses damaged. This has compelled the state government to come up with a contingency plan to shift nearly 4,000 villagers from six forward villages in RS Pura Sector of Jammu district to safer areas.

Fireworks by Pakistani forces on 198-km long International Border and 224.5 km long LoC south of Pir Panjal range in Jammu region have been going on for over a month now. It took an ugly turn tonight when three villagers were injured and four houses, besides a cowshed, were either flattened or extensively damaged after Pakistan Rangers overnight shelled targeted two border out posts (BoPs) and civilian areas in RS Pura sector.

Pakistan shelling in the six-kilometer stretch of the border lasted till 6.30 am today.

The people from these six villages were shifted to a government school in Baspur Bangla and a government ITI college in RS Pura town this evening. Women, children and elderly from Abdulian, Korotana Khurd, Korotana Basti, Vidipur, Chandu Chak and Laiyan have been shifted, said Jammu Divisional Commissioner, Shantmanu.

“Food will be provided to the villagers tonight at both makeshift camps and if the situation persists then more arrangements would be made,” said a government official.

Since July 16, Pakistan has been targeting with heavy fire and shelling forward areas in the RS Pura Sector, including Arnia area, after sun set. Guns on both sides fall silent in the morning.

“Around 12.45 am Thursday night, Rangers opened unprovoked firing targeting two of our posts — Abdulian and Korotana Khurd. Initially, we exercised restraint but when they started firing 82 mm mortars flaring up border stretch, we were left with no option but to retaliate," said a BSF officer.

“Besides mortars, Rangers also opened UMG fire at us,” he added.

The officer said that the exchange of fire lasted till 6.30 am today.





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