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Gunbattle along border intensifies,Pak sends its army,BSF rushes more forces

400 BSF personnel,who were posted on election duty in Chhattisgarh have been rushed to Jammu area.

Written by VijaitaSingh | Jammu |
October 24, 2013 2:20:11 am

The prolonged gunbattle on the International Border (IB) in the Jammu region is intensifying with reports indicating that the Pakistani army has stepped in to assist the Pakistani Rangers that was guarding the border so far,prompting India’s Border Security Force (BSF) to rush in reinforcements to man the border outposts.

“In the last few days,nine of our personnel have been injured,and one was killed on Tuesday. The Pak army is also helping the Pak Rangers now. We can ascertain this by the kind of firing and shelling being done at the border,” said Dharminder Pareek,DIG,BSF,Jammu,adding that the Indian forces were still “thrice in strength”.

Sources said the BSF had sent reinforcements to border outposts to counter what could be a long-drawn battle. As many as 400 BSF personnel who were posted on election duty in Chhattisgarh have been rushed to Jammu area.

The BSF has come under intense fire over the past few days — an officer claimed that a single post in R S Pura sector was targeted with over 400 rounds of mortar fire in a day.

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Fourteen people,including some security personnel,have been injured so far. There were no signs of the firing abating,with one BSF personnel being killed in the shelling on Tuesday,and as many as 50 border posts coming under attack. Of the total 102 border posts in the Jammu region,60 have come under heavy shelling in the past week.

Intelligence reports and wireless intercepts available with the BSF suggest that militants may also be involved in what has now become one of the worst ceasefire violations,on the International Border in several years.

Security agencies believe the firing could be linked to mass infiltration attempts,and have identified 32 sites where infiltrations could take place. “The Army informed that the shelling along the border,besides the infiltration attempts pointed to the fact that these could be diversionary tactics and part of a larger gameplan. We have intercepts where they are heard discussing plans to attack BSF posts,” said a senior officer.

“Since September,we have been getting regular feedback about the concentration of Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba militants along the border in Jammu region. We are witnessing a lot of suspicious movement and increased communication on radio sets,” said a BSF officer.

While the Army is keeping a watch on the situation,sources said there is no move yet to send in regular troops to man the border or respond to the situation. Regular briefings on the matter are,however,taking place in the defence ministry.

Meanwhile,the Pakistan military claimed in a statement that India has targeted 27 Pakistani posts in the area in the last two days and fired “almost four thousand mortar shells and fifty-nine thousand rounds of machine guns”. It said that two civilians and a Pak Ranger have died while 26 civilians have been injured in the cross-border firing in the last fortnight.

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