India, Pakistan troops exhange fire, four villages are evacuated
18 December 2001
The Hindustan Times
Jammu: Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged ferocious fire along the Nowshera and RS Pura sectors along the international border and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday evening. The Indian Army claimed to have heavily damaged some Pakistani posts. Late night reports said the Indian Army retaliated to unprovoked Pakistani fire in the Jhangar area of Nowshera sector in Rajouri district, north of Jammu. ''The Army retaliated with effective mortar and heavy caliber fire causing heavy damage to Pakistani posts'', a spokesman of the Army said. He said Pakistani troops opened fire to provide cover to a group of terrorists who infiltrated through the Line of Control (LoC) and attempted to storm an army patrol in Jhangar sector near Nowshera. The attack was, however, foiled. Two days ago, terrorists had reportedly infiltrated through the LoC and killed two villagers and vandalised a place of worship in the same area. The firing started late in the evening and was continuing till the filing of this report. Reports said the residents of the affected villages had been moved to safer places. Nearly 50 families of the four villages - Sair, Numb, Makri, Kulhari - have been shifted to Kalsi Bhawani, out of the range of Pakistani mortar and artillery shelling. There were also late night reports of Pakistan firing shells in the Ranbirsinghpora sector in the west of Jammu. Though there were no reports of losses on the Indian side, the mortar shelling from both the sides was ferocious and heavy, reports said. Meanwhile, some troops have started arriving to strengthen defenses along the borders in response to Pakistan build up along the Jhelum- Chenab corridor. Pakistan has moved its tanks and artillery close to the border and LoC. Sources said the leave of the troops had been cancelled and they have been asked to report to their duty immediately.