Pakistan troops fire at Indian posts in Poonch sector

Pakistan Army troops opened fire with small and automatic weapons on forward posts in Poonch today at around 1205hrs, defence spokesman Col RK Palta said, adding there had been no loss of life or any injuries in the firing. 

The firing from across the border prompted Indian troops to retaliate, leading to intermittent exchanges which were on when reports last came in, he said.

Pakistani forces fired on Indian forward areas in Kerni-I and Kerni-II in Poonch sector, reports stated, the third ceasefire violation since yesterday in the district. Pakistan Army had last night committed two violations of the ceasefire by firing mortar shells at LoC posts in separate sub-sectors of Poonch district, drawing retaliation from Indian troops, Palta said.

Firing on several Indian posts in Hamirpur sub-sector along the LoC started at 2130hrs last night, he said. Troops from across the LoC opened fire with automatic weapons and medium mortar shells, he said.

"Our troops retaliated effectively and the exchanges continued till 2230hrs," he added. Pakistan troops had also fired at Indian posts in the Mendhar sub-sector of Poonch at around 2230hrs. The firing there continued till 2300hrs, Palta said.

Indian troops responded effectively without any casualties in either of the incidents of firing in Poonch last night.

"The 2003 Indo-Pak ceasefire has become meaningless. There is daily firing these days as was witnessed before 2003," said a senior security official. The 225-km long LoC in the Poonch-Rajouri sector has been witness to daily violations of the ceasefire since August 10, adding up to 28 incidents so far this month. There have been over 80 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops this year from January 1.

Pakistan's say on firing

The Pakistan Army today claimed one of its soldiers was killed in firing by Indian troops on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. A senior military official said the latest casualty occurred in Rakhcahri sector of the LoC near Rawalakot. "Sepoy Habib (was killed) due to unprovoked firing," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Yesterday, an army captain was killed in shelling by Indian troops. Pakistan protested the incident by summoning the Indian Deputy High Commissioner to the Foreign Office.

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