Four Army jawans, including an officer, were killed and five others, including two civilians, injured as Pakistani and Indian soldiers “exchanged heavy artillery and low-calibre fire” along the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday in the Pir Panchal Valley’s Rajouri and Poonch.
“Four Army men, including an officer, were killed in Rajouri where large parts of the LoC witnessed firing from Pakistan on Sunday. A very loud explosions were heard till late Sunday evening,” Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Chaudhary told The Hindu .
Preliminary reports suggest the Army jawans, including a Captain, were hit by Pakistan Army’s artillery shelling and firing in Bhimber Sector close to the LoC on late on Sunday afternoon. One soldier sustained injuries in the exchange.
“The firing spread to vast area on Sunday evening. All schools located within 5 km along the LoC in Rajouri’s Sunderbani and Manjakote will remain closed for next three days,” said Mr. Chaudhary.
The deceased soldiers were identified as Captain Kapil Kundu, rifleman Ram Avtar, rifleman Shubam Singh, and havaldar Roshan Lal. The injured soldier was identified as lance naik Iqbal Ahmad.
A Defence spokesman said Pakistani troops resorted to "indiscriminate firing from small arms, automatic weapons, mortars and missiles around 3:30 p.m., which resulted in the casualties." "Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively and inflicted damages on Pakistan Army," said the Defence spokesman.
Pakistani troops, according to the officials, “also resorted to firing on LoC in Poonch, adjacent to Rajouri, early Sunday morning.”
One Army soldier and a BSF assistant sub-inspector were injured in Poonch ceasefire violation by Pakistan, said an official.
He said Yaseen Arif, 6, and Gulzar Bano, 14, also sustained splinter injuries in the Poonch shelling.
The areas worst affected due to Pakistan firing and shelling included Lam, Jhanger, Nowshera, Sunderbani, Tarkundi, Niaka, Rajdhani, Basooni, Panjani, Drati, Balakote, Shahpur and Kerni.
In January, 14 people, including six jawans, were killed in ceasefire violations in Jammu region.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she was "pained to hear that the soldiers were killed and two injured". "My condolences to the deceased's families," she added.
Two killed in PoK: Pakistan Army
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) claimed a woman and a teenage boy were killed and six others wounded in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir too.
“Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing in Nezapir sector targeting civil population. A citizen embraced shahadat [martyrdom], while 2 children [were] injured,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.