7 Pak soldiers killed, scores Hurt
26 April 2002
The Daily Excelsior
POONCH: Seven Pakistan army soldiers were killed and scores others were injured when troops retaliated mortar shelling on the Line of Control (LoC) in six forward villages of Poonch sector this afternoon. Three enemy posts were smashed in retaliatory firing by Indian side across Gulpur and Digwar villages. Reports here said Pakistan guns started barking on the LoC at 1400 hours today in Ajot, Gulpur, Digwar, Shahpur, Malti and Kandi areas. Initially, Pakistan army resorted to heavy firing but after about half an hour, they started mortar shelling. A couple of army bunkers were hit by the mortar shells but there was no report of any casualties or damage. Mortar shells also landed in some houses in Ajot, which had already been abandoned by the villagers about four months back when Indo-Pak skirmishes started on the LoC. Shelling from Pakistan side continued for about one hour. Reports said Indian side replied the shelling at 1600 hours. Effective retaliatory firing created panic in the enemy camp. Three Pakistani posts caught fire in the shelling across Gulpur and Digwar villages and were seen in flames from this side till late this evening, the reports said. Atleast seven Pakistan army soldiers, who were manning the burnt pickets, were reported killed in the firing and scores others were injured. Several bunkers of the enemy troops were either completely destroyed or extensively damaged in the shelling. Troops from this side saw atleast four Pakistani ambulances evacuating dead and injured army personnel to hospitals. Shelling stopped at 1700 hours. Defence sources said Poonch sector was activated by Pakistan army after a brief lull of about four days. In previous exchange of shelling, Pakistan army had lost 12 jawans and 10 bunkers in Poonch sector. According to sources, Pakistan shelling was aimed at keeping the border villagers away from their houses. The villagers for the last four months now were putting up in Government buildings and tented accommodation in the town and outskirts. Our Jammu correspondent adds: Indo-Pak troops continued to exchange heavy firing all along the International Border in Jammu sector over-night. However, no injuries were reported on this side in last night’s firing by Pakistan troops. For last five-six days, three to four civilians were getting injured daily in the border firing. Exchange of firing was reported from Pargwal and Pallanwalla in Akhnoor sector, Dulma Chak, Sadhey Chak, Regal and Chalarian in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district and RS Pura, Suchetgarh and Kanachak in Jammu district. Indo-Pak troops also exchanged firing on the LoC in Jhangar and Sher Makri villages in Nowsehra sector early today.