Pak violates ceasefire again, kills 3 civilians

17 injured in firing, shelling since early Friday morning

Pak violates ceasefire again, kills 3 civilians

At least three civilians were killed and 17 others injured when Pakistani troops pounded Indian border outposts (BoPs) and civilian areas along the International Border (IB) in Jammu on Friday.

Pakistan Rangers reportedly targeted forward Indian positions and civilian areas in the R S Pura and Arnia sectors of the Jammu district with automatic weapons and mortar shells since early on Friday morning, drawing retaliation from the BSF. PTI quoted Jammu Deputy Commissioner Simrandeep Singh as saying that three villagers — two in RS Pura and one in Arnia — were killed and 17 injured in several hamlets as a result.

A BSF spokesman said Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling in from 1:45 am on Friday in Abdullian, Chandu Chak, Kishanpur, Jora Form, Jugnu Chak and Nawapind along the IB.

“Our troops gave a befitting reply, firing on the forward areas of Pakistan, causing damage,” he said, adding that firing was going on when the last reports came in.

Eyewitnesses told Deccan Herald the shelling and intermittent firing continued throughout the night. “Sound of heavy shelling was heard in more than 5 km from the border, frightening the locals,” they said.

“Terrified villagers rushed into their houses and took shelter in safer areas, including bunkers. The shelling was so heavy, mortar shells fell inside the Arnia bus stand, more than 4 km away from the IB,” said the eyewitnesses.

A large number of houses were reportedly damaged and livestock perished in the firing and shelling. The authorities have reportedly asked people in critical zones along the border not to venture outside their houses.

The latest ceasefire violation came just 13 days after six civilians, including a sarpanch, were killed and five others injured in heavy firing and shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch district on Independence Day.

Significantly, the latest ceasefire violation came just days before the Director Generals of Pakistan Rangers and BSF are scheduled to meet in New Delhi on September 6 to discuss the border situation.

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