Pakistan firing kills 3 civilians, hurts 4 others in Kupwara
Several houses were also damaged when shells landed in Reddi Chowkibal and Tumna villages, officials said, adding that it is the first time when shells fired from across the Line of Control (LoC) landed deep inside Kupwara villages.Updated: Apr 13, 2020 06:17 IST
Three civilians, including a child and a woman, were killed in two villages on Sunday when Pakistani forces resorted to ceasefire violation in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Several houses were also damaged when shells landed in Reddi Chowkibal and Tumna villages, officials said, adding that it is the first time when shells fired from across the Line of Control (LoC) landed deep inside Kupwara villages.
The shelling, which continued for two hours, has left villagers scared as they had to run for the cover.
Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia blamed Pakistan for ceasefire violation in Keran sector of Kupwara. “Unprovoked ceasefire violation was initiated by Pakistan in Keran sector at 5pm. Pakistan targeted civilian population in Kupwara near LoC, resulting in the killing of three innocent civilians, including one woman and a child,’’ he said.
Indian troops retaliated by targeting Pakistani posts. A senior police officer said that rescue operation is underway and the police and army teams have reached the villages where shells landed. Four civilians were also injured in the shelling, the officer said.
The army’s one of the biggest camps is located in Chowkibal. A few days ago, from this place only Indian troops had targeted Pakistani pickets by using artillery shelling. However, the shells fired from Pakistan used to land near the villages close to LoC.
On Thursday, the army had blamed Pakistan for ceasefire violation and said in retaliation, Indian troops targeted the terrorist launch pads and ammunition dumps across the LoC.
For the past several months, the army has been using heavy artillery to respond to the ceasefire violation from the Pakistani side.
There was an exchange of heavy artillery and mortars from both the sides on Friday morning which continued for three to four hours. The army in Kupwara fired artillery shells towards the PoK from Chowkibal and Panzgam villages.
The ceasefire violation took place in the same area where army and militants got engaged in a gunbattle in which five militants, three are believed to be locals from south Kashmir, were killed earlier this week.
Five soldiers, all elite paracommandos, were also killed while trying to neutralizing the militants. Since then there has been tension in the area, the officials said.