Five killed, 40 injured in cross-border firing, India summons Pak envoy over 7-month-old’s death
The shelling by Pakistani force along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir has forced around 100,000 people to leave their villages for safer locationsindia Updated: May 23, 2018 23:37 IST
At least five civilians were killed and 40 people, including three BSF jawans, injured on Wednesday as Pakistan pounded Indian posts and villages along the 198km-long border in Jammu and Kashmir for the seventh straight day, officials said.
The escalation in hostilities, which coincided with the government calling off operations in Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan, has forced around 100,000 people to leave their villages for safer locations.
“Five civilians died and 37 others were injured in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts in the latest round of Pak shelling on Wednesday,” state police chief SP Vaid said.
The Pakistani army joined its border guards, the Pakistan Rangers, in raining mortar shells on around 100 villages and 80 Border Security Forces (BSF) posts in the three districts.
Residents in 15 border villagers of Samba have been advised to shift to safer areas while Kathua administration was preparing for a fresh onslaught on Wednesday night.
In Delhi, the government lodged a strong protest with Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah over the killing of a seven-month-old infant.
“Shah was summoned today and a strong protest was lodged at the loss of life of a seven-month-old infant in unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan forces on May 21,” the ministry of external affairs said.
On Wednesday, a 35-year-old woman and a child were killed in Bainglar village of Samba. A man each was killed in Shamka village and RS Pura in Jammu while a villager from Londi in Kathua succumbed to his injuries at a hospital, a police officer said.
The deaths take the number of people killed in Pakistan firing in a week to 12.
Three jawans suffered minor splinter injuries at Ballar post in Samba, inspector general of the BSF (Jammu Frontier) Ram Awtar said, adding 80 posts in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts were targeted.
Firing and shelling continued through Tuesday into early Wednesday. Schools within five-km of the international border remain close.
Panic-stricken villagers continue to flee their homes for those of their relatives away from the border or relief camps set up by the government.
A local, Prakash Singh, claimed villagers had moved out of Bobbiyan Londi, Karol Krishna, Pansar and Manyari in Kathua district.
Deputy commissioner Rohit Khajuria said at least 10 relief camps were set up in Kathua which he expected would be crowded in the night. “We have got inputs of intense Pak shelling tonight. We have to shift the villagers to the camps before evening,” he said earlier in the day.
(With agency inputs)