Five people were killed and nearly 50 others injured in Pakistani shelling in Arnia sector along the International Border near Jammu during early hours of Monday.
Sources said that four people died at the main bazaar in Arnia town itself when over a dozen mortar shells from across the border exploded around 3 am. It has been for the first time since 2003 that Pakistani shells have fallen in Arnia bazaar.
After a night long, unprovoked mortar shelling on civilian areas along the international border in Arnia sector, the Pakistani troops started targeting forward Indian positions along the Line of Control in Bhimber Gali (BG) area of Rajouri district on Monday.
Giving details, sources said that Pakistani troops started firing automatic weapons and mortars on the Indian side around 8.30 am. The Indian troops were retaliating and the exchange of fire between two sides was continuing till reports last came in.
The Pakistani Rangers had been resorting to unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire along the international border since October 3. After a lull in of nearly a month, the Pakistani Rangers stepped up shelling during early hours of Monday around 12.30 am causing panic among the villagers. Apart from Arnia town, the villages most hit by shelling included Trewa, Suhagpur and Devigarh.
Border Security Force officials here said that Pakistani Rangers targeted ten BSF border outposts, besides civilian population with heavy mortar shelling and small arms fire in Arnia sector late last night. Pointing out that five civilians were killed and nearly 50 others injured in Pakistani shelling, they said that BSF also gave a befitting and calibrated reply to the Rangers. The loss in Pakistan territory is yet to be ascertained, they said, adding that the firing was continuing till reports last came in.
Giving details, sources said that the Pakistani guns had fallen silent after nearly half an hour long firing on the Indian side on Saturday night. Suddenly, they resumed mortar shelling at around 12.30 am forcing people in villages near the border to flee from their houses.
The shelling was so intense that people even in Arnia town came out of their houses and gathered in the main bazaar out of panic. Around 3 am, shells exploded in the bazaar killing five and injuring many others. The victims were rushed to the hospital, but one of them succumbed to injuries on the way.
Ever since US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to jointly fight terrorism, Pakistani troops and Rangers have resumed unprovoked firing on the Indian side along Line of Control and the international border.
So far a girl had been killed and nearly a dozen others were injured in firing from across the border along the LoC. And an army jawan was killed and another injured in IED explosion triggered by terrorists near the LoC in Mendhar last week.