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Five Indian soldiers killed in LoC shelling

By Tariq Naqash 2017-06-04
MUZAFFARABAD: At least five Indian soldiers were killed and many others injured when the Pakistan Army `aggressively` responded to shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

`Unprovoked CFV (ceasefire violation) at Tatta Pani (sector) along (the) LoC violently responded,` InterServices Public Relations (ISPR) chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.

`Indian bunkers (were) destroyed, 5 Indian soldiers killed and many injured, he said.

No further details were made available.

Tatta Pani sector is in Kotli district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and adjacent to Battal sector of Poonch district in the India-held region.

Two civilians were killed and six others injured in Indian shelling in the area on Thursday, followed by injuries to two more people in Nezapir sector of Haveli district on Friday.

Several residents of Jandrot sector in Nakyal tehsil of Kotli district wrote in their social media poststhat the LoC in their area had alsowitnessedexchange of heavy fire on Saturday.

However, no casualties were reported, according to officials.

Military sources denied (social media) reports about the death of a Pakistani soldier in Indian shelling in Jandrot sector.

The heavily militarised LoC that splits the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir between Pakistanand India has been tense for quite some time, causing mostly civilian casualties on both sides.

The latest incidents of cross-LoC firing come days after the Indian army claimed having carried out an operation on Pakistani posts in a bid to prevent `infiltrators` from entering India-held Kashmir.

Pakistan rejected the claim.

Agencies add: India denied that any of its soldiers had been killed or wounded in Saturday`s exchange of fire across the LoC.

Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria condemned `deliberate targeting of civilians` by India during a violation of the 2003 LoC ceasefire agreement on Friday that lef t twovillagers injured in AJK. He said India had resorted to unprovoked firing.

However, an Indian army spokesman, Lt Col Manish Mehta, alleged that Pakistani soldiers had resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violations by attacking Indian positions for several days in the region, firing automatic rifles and mortars.

`The Indian army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively,` he said and added that the latest exchange of gunfire had taken place on Friday and Saturday.

Nezapir is the same area where Indian security personnel used heavy weapons when people were celebrating Eidul Fitr in 2015, triggering skirmishes in which several people were killed or wounded.

Militants` ambush The Indian army said two of its soldiers were killed in an ambush by suspected militants in the valley.

A spokesman, Col Rajesh Kalia, said the attackers fired indiscriminately at an army convoy on a key highway in the Qazigund area, also wounding four other soldiers. The wounded were evacuated to an army hospital.

Indian security forces launched a search for the attackers, who had fled. The area is 80km south of Srinagar.