- 4 army soldiers, BSF officer, 4 civilians killed
- Heavy shelling and gunfire in Uri, Kupwara, Handwara, Bandipora villages
- 5 soldiers from Maharashtra injured in Gurez, 2 succumb
- One-and-a-half year old child killed in Baramulla village
- Residential houses damaged, hundreds of people shifted out of Uri villages
Baramulla: Indian and Pakistan armies on Friday exchanged heavy firing and shelling along the length of the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir on Friday, resulting in killing of six persons including a lady, a little child, 2 army soldiers, and two other civilians in Uri village of Baramulla, two army soldiers in Gurez Valley of Bandipora, and one BSF officer in Nowgam villages.
On Friday morning, the armies violated the ceasefire and fired at each other in Keran village of Kupwara with heavy machine guns and mortars, official sources said, adding firing and shelling from both sides continued for hours.
Srinagar-based spokesperson of Indian Army Col Rajesh Kalia said that suspicious movement was observed along the LoC in Keran village and an infiltration bid was foiled but Pakistani forces opened fire for providing cover to the infiltrators, to which the Indian army retaliated effectively. He also confirmed that both the armies exchanged heavy cross-LoC firing in Uri village.
The official sources said that after Keran, the two armies exchanged heavy cross border firing in Karnah, Tangdar, Panzgam, and Nowgam sectors of Kupwara district in which both the forces used heavy mortars and machine guns. The firing continued for hours, they said.
SSP Kupwara AS Dinkar while talking to Kashmir Reader said that two civilians in Tangdar village sustainable splinter injuries, but they were now stable.
The sources said that after Kupwara, the forces started heavy firing in Hajipeer and Kamalkote sectors of Baramulla district in which at least six people including a woman, a one-and-a-half year old child, two army soldiers and two civilians were killed while six other people received serious injuries who were shifted to hospital.
The sources identified the killed women as Farooqa Begam, 44, resident of village Balkote.
The two civilians who were killed in Kamalkote village of Uri were identified as Irshad Ahmad, 48, and Taib Ahmad Mir, 34, both residents of Saraibandi Uri. The little child who was killed lived in Gohalan village.
Block Medical Officer Uri Dr Mohammad Ramzan confirmed to Kashmir Reader that four civilians including a lady and a child were killed in Uri while six others were injured in different villages and one of them is very critical.
Sources said that cross-border shelling also took place in Nowgam, under police district Handwara, in which both the forces fired at each other with heavy machine guns and mortars. A sub inspector of border security forces (BSF) was killed here. The killed BSF officer was identified as SI Rakesh Dobal.
The sources said that after Baramulla and Kupwara, the cross border firing started in Gurez valley of Bandipora in which two army men were killed and three others received injuries and were shifted to hospital.
The two army men were killed in Tulail and Bagtore sectors of Gurez. They were identified as Naik Satai Bhusha and Sepoy Jon Dhale Rushikesh, both residents of Maharashtra. The injured soldiers have been identified as Naik Kale Navnath, Sepoy Khade Uddhav and Sepoy Kirte Yogesh, all residents of Maharashtra.
The firing and shelling continued till late evening in both the sectors.
Local sources said that dozens of residential houses were damaged in Uri and panic gripped the locals in Hajipeer, Kamalkote, Guraz, Nowgam, Keran and Karnah sectors. People were seen running towards safer places along with their children while several houses caught fire due to artillery shells.
Heavy cross-LoC firing in Uri was continuing when this report was filed, an official told Kashmir Reader.
SP police district Handwara Dr Sandeep confirmed that BSF officer SI Rakash Dobal was killed in Atama Complex TMG Nowgam sector.
Meanwhile, locals in Uri sector said that fire broke out in a residential house in Balkote Uri, and at fields in Hajipeer sector due to mortars. Village head Churanda Laldin Ahmad said that they never saw such heavy firing in the area and the entire area is under a cloud of smoke.
Another local said that heavy cross LoC firing took place also in Kamalkote sector and hundreds of families from dozens of villages there have been shifted to safer places with their children and women. Several people took shelter in the basement of their houses as they could not go anywhere.
A large number of people including police and others gathered outside the sub district hospital Uri for the help of injured persons while several ambulance vehicles were rushed to Hajipeer and Kamalkote sectors to transport the injured people.
Local sources said that Indian army also fired dozens of artillery shells from Mohra Uri towards Pakistani Kashmir.