Several Pak army men killed, hurt; 5 posts destroyed

5 Indian soldiers injured

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 26: A number of Pakistan army personnel were killed and injured while their five posts were destroyed across Line of Control (LoC) in Sunderbani-Pallanwalla sector this evening in retaliatory firing and shelling by the Indian side while a Ranger was killed and six others were injured across Kanachak sector on the International Border (IB) in Jammu district.

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Sources said Pakistan army resorted to heavy firing and shelling on the LoC in several forward areas of Rajouri and Poonch districts and parts of Pallanwalla in Akhnoor sector of Jammu district this evening, leading to strong retaliation from the Indian side.
They added that number of Pakistan army jawans were killed and injured across Sunderbani and Pallanwalla sectors. Five posts of Pakistan army were also destroyed.
Heavy exchange of shelling and firing was going on at several places till late tonight when the reports last came in.
Meanwhile, five Army soldiers were injured and two houses damaged as Pakistani army resorted to heavy mortar shelling in Akhnoor sector.
The Pakistani army used heavy weaponry, firing 120-mm mortar targeting civilian hamlets and forward posts since 5.30 pm on the LoC, official sources said.
They fired from small, automatic and heavy weaponry in Krishna Gati, Balakote, Khari Karmara, Mankote, Tarkundi areas in Poonch district; Kalal, Baba Khori, Kalsian, Laam and Jhangar areas in Rajouri; and Pallanwala and Laleali sub sectors in Akhnoor sector of Jammu district.
In Akhnoor sector, five soldiers were injured and have been hospitalized.
In Mankote sector of Poonch, two houses were damaged.
Sources said Indian troops gave a “befitting reply” to the firing.
According to officials, more than a dozen cease-fire violations took place today the fourth consecutive day of Pakistan shelling and firing on Indian posts.
In the afternoon, Pakistan violated ceasefire in Nowshera sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district sources said, adding that locals in the border areas have been asked to not venture out. Panic gripped the border areas and some locals have left their homes and moved to safer areas, reports said.
Since last Wednesday, Pakistan has violated ceasefire everyday, barring Friday, the officer said.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Rangers also resorted to heavy firing targeting forward Indian positions on the International Border (IB) in Jammu district. A Pakistani Ranger was killed and six others were injured in retaliation by the BSF.
The Rangers resorted to heavy firing along the International Border in Kanachak sector of Jammu district in the wee hours of this morning prompting the BSF to retaliate. Heavy exchange of firing between the two sides continued for about an hour in which a Ranger was killed and six others were injured.
However, there was no loss of life on BSF side or the civilians, living close to the International Border. Firing from Pakistan side stopped following effective retaliation by the Indian troops.
Pakistani Rangers tried to target forward posts of the BSF during the firing but failed in their plot.
Ceasefire violation by the Pakistani Rangers in Kanachak sector came after a long time. In January, however, Pakistan army had violated ceasefire in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district in which an Assistant Commandant of the BSF was martyred in a sniper shot.
The International Border had been by and large calm while majority of ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops were being reported from the Line of Control in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

Schools along LoC closed
In view of heightened tension between India and Pakistan amidst heavy exchange of fire along Line of Control in Rajouri and Poonch, the respective district administrations of the twin districts have ordered closure of all schools within a radius of five kilometers from the LoC.
Orders in this regard were issued this evening by the district administrations of Poonch and Rajouri, according to which, all schools within five kms from LoC shall remain close on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, district administrations of Rajouri and Kishtwar have also ordered that no political, religious, social or any other procession shall be allowed to be taken without the prior permission of the authority concerned.