Artillery guns used in Indo-Pak firing at the border

Artillery guns used in Indo-Pak firing at the border

(PTI File Photo)

The cross-border skirmish near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir escalated on Tuesday with both sides resorting to artillery guns for exchange across the disputed border.

The calibre escalation started by Pakistan, which used artillery guns to strike at Indian posts in the Tangdhar sector in the afternoon. India too responded with artillery fire, Army sources said without disclosing the calibre of the weapons used by the troops.

The firing started in around 1 pm and stopped at 5.15 pm.

“Unprovoked ceasefire violation including calibre escalation (artillery fire) by Pakistan in Tangdhar sector since 1300 hours. Our troops retaliated strongly, resulting in heavy casualties on the enemy side,” said an officer.

Use of artillery is unusual in cross-border exchanges that became commonplace in the last three and a half years since the death of Burhan Wani in 2016. Generally, the troops use small arms.

Artillery guns were put to use by both sides after the Balakot airstrike by India in February in the south of Pir Panjal (Jammu) region.

In the north of Pir Panjal, artillery fire has been exchanged only once in January 2019. Prior to that such guns boomed only once in 2017 once in the Poonch and Rajouri sectors.

The LoC continues to remain red-hot with nearly 1600 instances of ceasefire violations in 2019 up to July in which six Indian soldiers died.