Exchange of fire along Indo-Pak working boundary, five killed

Published January 1, 2015
The image shows an Indian soldier patrolling near the border with Pakistan. - AP/File
The image shows an Indian soldier patrolling near the border with Pakistan. - AP/File

SRINAGAR: Exchange of fire took place in the Shakargarh sector of Narowal district late on Wednesday and continued until the early hours of Thursday, official sources said.

Wednesday's incident in which four Pakistani troopers died on the border in Jammu and Kashmir followed the killing earlier in the day of an Indian border guard, Rakesh Sharma, BSF inspector general for the Jammu Frontier said.

“We have retaliated effectively ... four Pakistani rangers have been killed along the International Border in Samba sector this evening,” said Sharma.

Moreover, the Press Trust of India claimed that four Chenab Rangers personnel were killed in BSF’s “retaliation” after a border security force man lost his life in heavy firing from the other side on a patrol along the border in Samba district.

Pakistan says India killed two troops invited to meeting

Pakistan claims that the latest round of incidents began when Indian border guards killed two Chenab Rangers’ personnel in Shakargarh sector on Wednesday after calling them for a flag meeting on the Working Boundary.

Naik Riaz Shakir and Lance Naik Mohammad Safdar, who were deputed for the meeting sought by the BSF, died amid a hail of bullets, the Chenab Rangers said.

The Foreign Office summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to lodge a protest over the incident.

A demarche given to the Indian diplomat asked New Delhi “to investigate the incident, bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure maintenance of peace and tranquility along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary”.

According to Chenab Rangers, the BSF firing on Wednesday morning was unprovoked. Flag meetings are routinely held by troops to settle local matters between the two sides.

Frontier clashes have intensified in recent months, dashing hopes that a brief thaw in relations after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in May would lead to a calming of the situation.

The worst violence has been further north in the Kashmir Valley, where separatist militants killed 11 Indian soldiers and police in early December, the worst losses in six years.

Jammu and Kashmir held state elections in December in which Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party made gains. While leaving the party short of a majority, the result could open the way for it to form a ruling coalition with a regional party.

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