2 Pak army officers among 4 killed in Indian retaliation on LoC

4 posts targeting civilians in Poonch destroyed
*Civilian injured, houses damaged in forward village

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Dec 1: As Pakistan army continued ceasefire violations for third consecutive day today on the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district, the Indian troops retaliated very effectively with reports indicating that at least four Pakistani troops, two of them officers, were killed at Rakhchikri and Rawlakote sectors across Poonch.
Official reports confirmed the killing of four Pakistan army personnel and injuries to a civilian on the Indian side saying intense retaliatory action by the troops was necessitated as forward posts of the enemy were targeting civilian locations at Qasba and Kirni villages of Poonch district, leading to panic among the border dwellers.
Further, they said, this was the third consecutive day of Pakistan army shelling and during last two days the Pakistani troops had targeted Shahpur, Krishna Ghati and Balakote sub sectors, all falling in Poonch district.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently visited the forward villages in Kotli and Rawlakote sectors of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and reviewed situation prevailing there with top Generals of the country. He was reported to have directed the Pakistan army to heavily shell civilian areas on the Indian side and push trained militants into the Indian territory.
Since the visit of Imran Khan, Pakistan army has regularly been shelling civilian areas in Poonch district, sources pointed out.
They said the Indian Army retaliated Pakistan shelling and firing in Poonch sector effectively to silence the enemy guns targeting civilians amid apprehensions that the militants could also try to take cover of the firing to infiltrate into the Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir.
There were reports that at least four Pakistan army personnel including two officers were killed in retaliatory shelling and firing by the Indian troops.
Pakistan’s Director General (DG), Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj Gen Ghafoor confirmed injuries to two officers of Pakistan army in Indian retaliatory shelling at Rakhchikri and Rawlakote sectors along the LoC. However, subsequent reports suggested that both the injured officers as well as two other Pakistani troops succumbed to the injuries they suffered in retaliatory shelling by the Indian Army.
Identity of slain Pakistan army personnel couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
Four forward posts of Pakistan army were razed to ground in the Indian retaliation, sources said, adding that following effective Indian action, Pakistan stopped shelling and firing targeting civilian locations in Qasba and Kirni areas of Poonch district.
A 55-year old civilian Jamaal-ud-Din was seriously injured in Pakistan shelling in Qasba village of Poonch this afternoon as a mortar shell fired by Pakistani troops exploded near his house. His house was also damaged.
Security personnel and people evacuated him from the site of firing and shifted him to the District Hospital Poonch from where he was referred to the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu in view of his critical condition.
Several mortar shells fired by Pakistan army fell in civilian areas of Qasba and Kirni from 4 pm to 6 pm today causing panic among the border dwellers, who took shelter inside houses and bunkers. Several shells exploded near the houses, damaging them. Number of civilians had narrow escape in the shelling and firing.
Prior to three consecutive days of heavy mortar shelling and firing in Poonch district, Pakistan army had shelled forward posts between Pallanwalla and Khour areas in Akhnoor sector consecutively for a week trying to regain three to four posts they had lost earlier.
However, Pakistan army couldn’t regain the posts due to heavy retaliatory shelling and firing by the Indian troops.
There has been spurt in ceasefire violations by the Pakistan army on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir especially in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri since August 5 when special Constitutional provisions of J&K were abrogated and the erstwhile State was bifurcated into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
While few soldiers of the Indian Army have attained martyrdom in Pakistan firing, the troops have inflicted very heavy casualties and damages on Pakistan side and foiled their series of attempts to push trained militants into the Indian territory.