Pakistani Army on Saturday claimed to have killed at least five Indian soldiers and injured many others while aggressively responding to shelling from across the restive Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Unprovoked CFV (ceasefire violation) at Tatta Pani (sector) along (the) LoC violently responded,” said Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor, chief of Pakistan army’s media affairs wing – Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) – in a tweet. “Indian bunkers destroyed, 5 Indian soldiers killed and many injured,” he claimed.
Tatta Pani sector is located in Kotli district of Pakistan administered Kashmir and is adjacent to Battal sector of district Poonch, where two civilians were killed and six others injured in Indian shelling on Thursday followed by injuries to two more persons in Nezapir sector of Haveli district on Friday.
Residents in Jandrot sector of district Kotli wrote in their social media posts that the LoC in their area had also witnessed exchange of heavy fire on Saturday.
However, so far no casualties had been reported from anywhere.
The heavily militarised LoC that splits disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan has been tense for quite some time, causing mostly civilian casualties on both sides.
The latest incidents of cross-border firing come days after Indian army had claimed that it carried out an operation on Pakistani posts along the LoC in a bid to prevent “infiltrators” from entering India.
Incidents of cross-border firing have become a norm since the last months of 2016 as tensions simmer between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue. Exchanges of fire have been reported sporadically since the new year began.
Following the Uri army base attack in September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up a drive to ‘isolate’ Pakistan diplomatically.
In the days following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border ‘surgical strike’ against ‘launch pads of terror’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan strongly rejected.
Pakistan maintains that India has been attempting to divert the world’s attention away from atrocities committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.
Tensions between the two countries soared recently as India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to secure consular access for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan over his involvement in espionage and terrorism.
In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench at The Hague restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav, who India claims is a retired naval officer.