BSF says it fired over 9,000 mortar rounds in past four days to attack Pak troops
Jammu: Cross-border shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) continued on Monday in Jammu region, a Border Security Force (BSF) officer claimed.
He said the Pakistani troops fired and lobbed mortars at Indian posts in three sectors of Jammu and Rajouri districts overnight.
Seven civilians, three army soldiers and two BSF personnel have so far been killed in the border clashes in the region. Over 60 civilians have also received injuries. The war-like situation has forced the closure of schools along the LoC and the border and has triggered the migration of 40,000 people to safer places.
“There was night-long firing along the IB in Pargwal, Math, R S Pura, Arnia and Ramgarh sectors (of Jammu and Samba districts). It stopped at 05.45 hours today,” the BSF officer said.
“Pakistan Rangers resumed shelling along the IB in Kanachak sector of Jammu last night,” he said.
Pakistan troops also resumed heavy shelling along the LoC in Bhawani, Karali, Said, Numb and Sher Makri areas of Rajouri district last evening, officials said.
People have been asked to stay indoors and not to touch any suspicious object in their area as it could be an unexploded mortar shell, he said.
Meanwhile, the BSF has fired over 9,000 rounds of mortar shells in the past four days as part of a “pinpointed” retaliatory action against Pakistan’s firing. Fuel dumps and firing positions of the Pakistan Rangers were destroyed at multiple places, anonymous officials told PTI.
Senior officials of the BSF and in the Home ministry said the situation along the 190-kilometre IB in the Jammu area was “very tense” as Pakistan had “opened” heavy fire in the entire stretch since last evening.
They said the BSF had fired over 9,000 rounds of mortar shells since January 19, after “Pakistan first breached the peace and hit BSF posts and civilian areas”.
The mortar shelling is in addition to an effective retaliation by an assortment of other arms and ammunition, they said. The force also released two small video clips purportedly showing the destruction of fuel dumps.
They said the “chicken neck” area of the border in Jammu, near Makwal and Kanachak border posts of the BSF, is also being pounded by Pakistani forces, after having been untouched till now.
“A security force jawan and a few civilians have been injured in these areas, and we are receiving heavy fire here since yesterday,” a senior official said.
Sources said the Indian forces have also witnessed the movement of senior commanders of the Rangers and the Pakistan Army in forward areas across the border.
“These visits, as we understand, are being undertaken by Pak commanders to motivate their troops who are getting some good pounding from the Indian side, and it is also understood that many of their personnel have been hit fatally or have been injured,” the official said.
The Rangers, the officials said, have also “refused” to talk to the BSF and come over for a flag meeting till now.
All the BSF border posts in the Jammu area have been put on “high alert”, and senior commanders have been asked to be at the front “at least for the next about a week’s time”, they said.