12 Pak jawans killed, 10 bunkers destroyed
22 April 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Indo-Pak troops exchanged heavy mortar shelling and firing in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district early today leading to atleast dozen fatal casualties and smashing of 10 bunkers of Pakistan army Pakistan troops also continued heavy firing all along the International Border (IB) overnight causing injuries to two Border Security Force (BSF) jawans in RS Pura sector over-night. Official sources said Pakistan army fired 25 more mortar shells in Lam and Kalaal border villages in Nowshera sector early today targeting both Defence and civil locations. Yesterday also, Pakistan army had fired about 40 mortar shells in Bhawani, Lam and Sher Makri villages. After today’s shelling, Indian army retaliated effectively. Atleast 12 Pakistani soldiers were killed and 10 of their bunkers were completely destroyed in retaliation by the Indian troops across Lam and Kalaal forward villages, the sources said. They said that Pakistani regulars from the 10 Corps opened fire from 82 mm mortar guns around 0700 hours this morning at Lam area targeting forward bunkers and isolated communication towers and continued to rain mortar shells for the next 35 minutes, galvanising Indian troops to retaliate. In retaliation Indian soldiers fired mortar shells from 81 mm guns in quick succession targeting Pakistani bunkers, and their fuel and ammunition depots. A fierce cross-border firing ensued which lasted for more than two hours in which seven Pakistani bunkers were destroyed and five regulars were killed when Indian soldiers scored direct hits enemy bunkers, sources said. Incensed at heavy Indian retaliation the regulars opened fire from heavy-caliber 105 mm artillery guns in a bid to pin down Indian soldiers and targeting India’s gun positions and watch-towers, the sources informed. In retaliation Indian troops again opened fire from similar caliber guns and for next two hours both sides were locked in a heavy artillery duel. Thereafter in a swift change of tactics the Pakistanis opened another front at Kalaal area also in the Nowshera sector but here also troops manning the frontier positions gave a befitting reply, sources said. In the cross-border artillery firing at Kalaal five more Pak regulars were killed while three more of Pakistan bunkers destroyed. The reverberations of pounding by the artillery guns could be heard from miles away amid reports of fresh migration or people from bordering villages to safer locations. Skirmishes between two sides on the LoC in Nowshera sector came to a halt around 12 noon today. Situation on the LoC was stated to be ‘very tense’ with both sides having taking positions in the forward posts in full battle dress. ''Our forces are ready to meet with any eventuality and give the enemy troops a befitting reply as they did early today'', Defence sources said. In Jammu, Pakistan troops continued to rain bullets in forward posts, manned by the BSF and villages all along the International Border. Two BSF posts were hit by the bullets in Nikowal and Devigarh villages in RS Pura sector resulting into injuries to two jawans. They have been identified as S K Ram and Kuldeep Singh. Both of them were evacuated from their posts by the security personnel and shifted to Military Hospital in serious condition. Firing on the IB was replied by the troops from this side. Heavy exchange of firing continued from both the sides till early this morning. Thereafter, intermittent exchange of firing continued between the two sides for about two hours. However, no civilian casualties were reported in the border firing today. Yesterday, two civilians got injured in Pakistan firing. Other forward villages, where Indo-Pak troops exchanged firing, were Pindi, Pital Post, Mehta Post, Jabowal, Kote Kuba, Zero Point, Budhwar, Sangral, Mangral, Gharana, Gharani, Abdullian, Korotana Khurd, Khatmarian, Nawapind, Joura Farm, Chamblayal, Nandpur, Narayanpur, Fatwal, Faqira Chak, Pargwal, Old and New Kanachak, Chinore Farm and Gole Pattan in Jammu sector. In Kathua sector, the exchange of firing was reported from Mangu Chak, Regal, Chachwal, Chalyaran and Khawara village.