February 2003 News

Balakote Shelling Toll 3

10 February 2003
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: Another police personnel, who was injured in yesterday's heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan army in Balakote sector in Poonch district, succumbed to his injuries today taking death in the shelling to three. Mohd Shaffi, a Selection Grade Constable (SGC) posted at Balakote police post, breathed his last in the Medical College hospital this afternoon. He was airlifted here yesterday from Balakote in view of his critical condition, official sources said. Body of the police constable was sent to his home town in the evening after post-mortem. Mohd Shaffi was among six persons including two cops and four civilians, who were injured in the shelling. Two others including a young girl and a Special Police Officer (SPO) had died in the shelling. A police post and some houses were damaged in Balakote. However, there was no report of any shelling in Balakote or any other forward village in Poonch district today. Retaliatory shelling by the Indian side had also caused heavy casualties and damage on other side of the border. Meanwhile, Indo-Pak troops today exchanged small arms firing on the International Border in Jammu, Kathua and Nowshera sectors, the sources said. Firing in Jammu sector was reported from Chhowani, SH Way, Korotana Khurd, Fatwal and Bhudwar while in Kathua district, the exchange of firing took place in Mangu Chak border village. In Nowshera sector in Rajouri district, the firing took place in Bhawani village. However, no loss of life or damage was reported on Indian side in the firing on the International Border while details of damage on the other side couldn't be ascertained. However, a civilian was injured in a mine blast in forward village of Londi in Hiranagar sector this afternoon. He has been identified as Heera Singh son of Kaka Singh, a resident of Londi. Sources said the civilian stepped-over a land mine, leading to an explosion. Injured civilian has been admitted in the Medical College hospital. Meanwhile, security forces today busted a hideout of the terrorists at village Khurji, about four kms from Banihal tehsil in Doda district. The hideout belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. Recoveries made from the hideout included one Under Barrel Grenade Launching (UBGL) gun, 23 UBGL grenades, 237 rounds of AK ammunition, one IED receiver, 11 detonators, 30 kg RDX, 24 pencils cells and a large quantity of ration, kerosene oil and personal belongings of the terrorists.


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