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Pak fires 7000 rounds of ammo in 'biggest ceasefire violation'

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire yet again last night by firing 7000 rounds of heavy ammunition and mortar shells for seven hours at Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2013 00:55 IST
LoC firing,India,Pakistan

In one of the biggest incidents of ceasefire violation -- in terms of rounds fired and duration of the firing - Pakistani troops fired about 7000 rounds of heavy ammunition and mortar shells for close to seven hours on Friday night at Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Described by the Army as the "biggest ceasefire violation" in recent times, the latest incident comes four days after five Indian soldiers were killed by specialist troops of the Pakistan Army on the LoC. Normally, a ceasefire violation lasts for about 30 minutes and about 30 rounds are fired.

There was no loss of life in the firing from across the border to which the Indian Army fired back effectively.

This fresh violation is likely to further jeopardise the resumption of a dialogue between the prime ministers of the two countries, scheduled on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.

"Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on several Indian forward posts along the LoC in Durga Battalion area in Poonch district around 10.20 pm on Friday night," defence spokesman SN Acharya said on Saturday.

"They fired 7000 rounds of heavy weaponry pika ammunition and medium mortars targeting several Indian posts in order to cause heavy causalities till 4.30am on Saturday," the spokesman said.

Border Security Force (BSF) jawans patrol near the Line of Control in Poonch. (PTI Photo)

The Army troops guarding the LoC took positions and fired back effectively, he said, adding that troops also fired 4,595 rounds of medium machine guns, INSAS rifles and KPWT machine guns besides 111 RPGs, 11 rockets and 18 mortar shells of 81 mm in retaliatory action.

This was the 58th incident of ceasefire violation this year. The sound of heavy firing and mortar blasts was heard in Poonch town and the firing exchanges triggered panic among the people living in the area.

On August 6, a group of 20 heavily armed men led by Pakistani troops had entered 450 metres into the Indian territory and ambushed a patrol, killing five Indian soldiers.

Reacting to the attacks, defence minister AK Antony had said in Parliament, "Our restraint should not be taken for granted nor should the capacity of armed forces and resolve of the government to uphold the sanctity of the LoC ever be doubted."

On a trip to Jammu on Wednesday, Army chief General Bikram Singh had also asked commanders to give a "firm and calibrated response" to Pakistan.

First Published: Aug 10, 2013 08:20 IST