Pakistani, Indian troops exchange fresh fire across LoC

Published October 3, 2016
An Indian farmer on a cart passes along the Indian-Pakistan Border fence. —AFP
An Indian farmer on a cart passes along the Indian-Pakistan Border fence. —AFP
An Indian BSF soldier keeps guard at the India-Pakistan border Chakri post. —AFP
An Indian BSF soldier keeps guard at the India-Pakistan border Chakri post. —AFP
An Indian BSF soldier keeps guard at the India-Pakistan border Chakri post. —AFP
An Indian BSF soldier keeps guard at the India-Pakistan border Chakri post. —AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fresh fire across the Line of Control (LoC) in three separate incidents on Monday, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The exchange of firing occurred along the Line of Control in the Nezapir and Kailer sectors, and Iftikharabad, a town in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, ISPR reported.

According to the military's media wing, the first incident of firing took place around midnight in Iftikharabad, whereas the second incident was reported in Nezapir at 11:30am. A third ceasefire violation was reported in the afternoon in Kailer by ISPR.

"Pakistani troops are befittingly responding to Indian unprovoked firing," it added.

There were no reports of casualties on either sides.

Pakistani and Indian troops last exchanged fire in the Bhimber sector on Saturday, with no damage reported then either.

The fresh exchange comes hours after suspected militants attacked an Indian army camp in Baramulla town of Indian-held Kashmir, killing at least one trooper of the Border Security Force (BSF) and leaving another injured.

The Indian army camp that was attacked late Sunday in the garrison town of Baramulla is the local headquarters of a counterinsurgency military unit.

Senior local police official Imtiyaz Hussain Mir on Monday told media between two and four militants were involved in the attack, which also injured one trooper.

“There is a big civilian population around the camp because of which we could not go all out. Otherwise there would have been civilian casualties. They took advantage of the darkness and used civilian houses as a shield to escape,” he said.

Rising tensions

Earlier in September, in one of the worst episodes of cross-border firing along the LoC, at least two Pakistan Army soldiers were killed as Indian troops opened fire on the first line of defence.

India also claimed to have performed a "surgical strike" by crossing the disputed boundary. The Indian claims were rubbished by Pakistan Army.

It later emerged that an Indian soldier was captured by the Pakistan army, while Indian soldiers were also killed in the episode of firing across the LoC.

The latest incidents of cross-border firing came as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue.

India this month initiated a diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan after blaming it for the Sept 18 attack on the Uri army camp in IHK which killed 18 soldiers ─ a claim which Pakistan has rejected.

Temperature between the South Asian rivals has been high since an Indian crackdown on dissent in India-held Kashmir following the killing by Indian forces of Burhan Wani, a young separatist leader, in July.

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