India, Pakistan border tension heats up after fresh firing (Afternoon Lead)

Jammu, Oct 4 (IANS) India on Tuesday alleged that Pakistan troops resorted to unprovoked heavy firing in at least three places on the de facto border in Jammu and Kashmir, stepping up the tension between the tense neighbours.

No injuries were reported from the Pakistan mortar shelling at Indian border posts in Jhangar, Kalsian and Makri areas of the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district along the Line of Control (LoC), a ceasefire line that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Many shells landed near civilian areas in Nowshera, a police officer said.

The officer said the Indian Army retaliated and fired at Pakistani posts. Any possible damage on the other side of the ceasefire line was not known immediately.

The Pakistan Army made similar allegations, saying Indian troops “resorted to unprovoked firing” at 4 a.m.

“Pakistani troops befittingly responded to the unprovoked Indian firing… in Bhimber sector,” an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

The heavy exchange of fire, which continued for several hours, was the latest in a series of violations of border truce signed in 2003.

Border tension between the two countries flared after 19 Indian soldiers were killed in the September 18 terror attack at an Indian military base in Uri town in Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

India said the four attackers, who sneaked into the Uri camp, infiltraed from Pakistan. Islamabad denied the allegation.

Days later, the Indian Army said it had avenged the Uri attack by conducting “surgical strikes” in Pakistan-administered Kashmir where seven terror launch pads were destroyed and an unknown number of militants and their sympathisers were killed on September 29.

Since then, militaries of the two countries have been regularly firing at each other daily across the LoC and the International Boundary.

On Monday, three civilians were injured in a similar exchange of fire in Poonch district.

–IANS

sar/mr

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