Srinagar Oct 3 (IANS) Two women and a man were injured in mortar and small arms firing from across the de facto boundary with Pakistan on Monday as border tension continued amid fresh ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Defence sources here said Pakistan Rangers fired indiscriminately using mortars and automatic weapons to target Indian border outposts in Akhnoor sector of the International Border in Jammu district. Indian border guards effectively retaliated using same calibre weapons, they said. The intermittent fire exchanges continued in Akhnoor till noon.
Frightened by shelling and firing, dozens of families abandoned homes, cattle and agricultural fields in Pallanwalla area and fled to safer places. Similar scenes were witnessed in Poonch near the Line of Control (LoC) later when Pakistan Army resorted to heavy shelling and firing in Shahpur, using 82 mm mortar shells which fell in a large area on the Indian side. Three civilians sustained splinter injuries. Police said the injured were removed to hospital. The third violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement occurred in Sabjiyan sector of Poonch when Pakistan Army used mortars and heavy fire arms to target Indian posts. Intermittent shelling and firing exchanges were still going on at both Shahpur and Sabjiyan sectors till late Monday evening. The fresh border skirmishes came hours after militants attacked the local headquarters of a counter-insurgency military unit on the banks of the Jhelum river in a north Kashmir village on Sunday night, killing a paramilitary trooper. Border Security Force (BSF) troopers guarding the outpost of the camp were the first to engage at least two militants in a gunfight at the entrance of the camp.
Police said the militants with clear intent to enter the camp lobed over a dozen grenades before opening automatic gunfire at the outpost. The militants, however, managed to escape under the cover of darkness and a six-hour-long search to locate them yielded no result. Security forces recovered a GPS set, a compass and a wire cutter besides some ammunition from the shootout site. Inspector General (Kashmir) of the BSF Vikash Chandra said two militants were involved in the attack. “My boys from the spot confirmed that there were at least two terrorists who were firing at them,” he said. Security forces are now assessing as to how the militants managed to reach the outpost of the camp since it is situated in a highly secured area of Baramulla town.