January 2002 News

Army destroys five Pak forward posts, 10 bunkers

11 January 2002
The Indian Express

Poonch: THE Indian Army today destroyed five Pak army posts and 10 bunkers across the Line of Control in what is being called as ‘‘punitive action’’ by the Army. Two of the destroyed bunkers had anti-aircraft guns. Following the intense shelling, panic has gripped Poonch town. People closed their shops and were seen running for shelter. Some people climbed up to their terraces to see smoke and fire flares erupting from Chuwa 1, Chuwa 2 and Chuwa 3 posts of Pakistan that were destroyed by the Indian troops. Troops opened their guns when Pakistan mortar shells landed in areas adjacent to Poonch. In the retaliatory action, troops destroyed the Jamila Post of Pakistan opposite Dagwar and Kopra Post across the LoC in Sawjian. Some Indian shells landed in a mine field at Kerni in Pakistan resulting in blasts. In the process, about 10 bunkers were destroyed. From this side one could see Pak Army men running for shelter. ‘‘This is part of the pro-active approach adopted by the Indian Army. We have completely destroyed their posts on which they had installed anti- aircraft guns,’’ said a senior Army officer. However, he said that the loss of life on the opposite side could not be ascertained as yet. It was from these posts that the Pakistani gunners had opened fire killing a young boy and injuring his two brothers yesterday. The artillery duel lasted till late in the evening. In some sectors, small-arms firing was still continuing. ‘‘We have had no casualties on our side,’’ an official said. A similar situation also prevailed in Nowshera and Keri sector on Rajouri, where since morning, Pakistan has been firing 82 mm mortars. Army officers posted there said, Pakistan used 106 mm guns to fire shells and fired rockets. ‘‘Except artillery they have used almost every type of heavy weapon,’’ senior army officer added. Some shells also landed in civilian areas. Following this, most villagers abandoned their homes and ran for safer places. Many of them ducked behind boulders to prevent themselves from getting hit by shrapnel from the incoming shells. Already 31 villages in Poonch have been abandoned and more than 18,000 people have migrated to Poonch town. Pakistan has also stepped up firing in Gakhrial area along the International Border in Akhnoor sector. Senior Army officers said the firing of mortars on residential areas has added a new dimension to the already-tense situation along the LoC.


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