Residents of two more villages were forced to abandon their homes and flee as Pakistan targeted 13 posts of the Border Security Force (BSF) on the International Border on Sunday night in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.

A BSF official told IANS that Pakistan Rangers used 82 mm mortars and other heavy weapons to target 13 BSF posts in Samba district during the night.

“Unprovoked Pakistan firing started at 8.30 p.m. yesterday (Sunday) evening in Ramgarh and Arnia sectors of Samba. Our troops retaliated strongly to Pakistan fire. No damage or casualty occurred on our side,” the official said.

He confirmed that exchanges of fire stopped Monday morning, but intermittent firing continued at some places through the night.

Already living in fear, residents of two more villages situated close to the border in Samba district left their homes during the night.

“Villagers from Jasso Chak and S.M. Pur moved out to safer places because of firing from Pakistan side yesterday (Sunday) evening,” a district administration official told reporters in Samba town.

Reports from these villages said that while men decided to stay back to take care of their houses and livestock, most women and children moved out to Ramgarh town by midnight. Frightened women and children have told reporters that Pakistani troops are targeting civilian homes in villages close to the International Border in Samba district. Villagers from Suchetgarh Kulian village, situated barely 400 metres from the International Border in Samba district, have already left their village and moved out because of Pakistan shelling two days back.

Amid growing tensions because of frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan, union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is expected to arrive here today to review the situation on the border.IANS