After the killing seven civilians and injuring nearly 50 others in night long shelling by Pakistan on civilian areas in Arnia sector along the international border near Jammu, the trouble has spread to Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri and Poonch districts on Monday morning.
The entire Line of Control (LoC) right from Krishna Ghati (KG) sector to Mankote, Balakote, Keriand even Bhimber Gali (BG) have come under attack with Pakistani troops resorting to automatic weapons fire and mortar shelling from 8.30 am onwards. The Indian army was also retaliating, sources said, adding the exchange of fire was continuing as per reports reaching here in the afternoon.
Earlier, on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, seven 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 members of a family died when Pakistani mortar shells started raining on Arnia town around 3 am. Three more people succumbed to injuries at the hospital. A number of shells fell even in Arnia town’s main bazaar and the bus stand causing extensive damage to property and injuring civilians.
Significantly, it is for the first time since 2003 that Pakistani shells have fallen in Arnia bazaar. The town is nearly two kms away from the international border, which means that the Pakistani Rangers used long range mortars to target civilian population deep inside the Indian territory, sources said.
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 exchange of fire for 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 are 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.
The latest mortar shelling by Pakistan has led to fresh spate of migration from various border villages. The civil administration has been put on high alert to meet the situation arising out of the migration of people in the wake of continued shelling by Pakistan.
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