LoC posts under fire again: Army

6 August 2008
The Indian Express
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: Army Srinagar, August 6 The Army on Wednesday claimed its troops came under small arms’ fire from across the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Nowgam sector, where last week India and Pakistani soldiers had clashed for 16 hours in the worst-ever violation of 2003 ceasefire between the two countries. “Around 12.30 pm, our posts in Nowgam sector came under small arms’ fire from across the LoC in Nowgam sector for a brief period. Our troops exercised restraint and did not open fire towards the Pakistani posts. The firing stopped after some time,” said Defence spokesman Col Anil Mathur. Mathur, however, said whether the fire was opened by Pakistani soldiers or the militants on the LoC was being investigated. “We are trying to find out how firing started on Wednesday afternoon. The firing incident happened at the same place where Pakistani troops violated ceasefire twice in the last two weeks,” he added. On July 30, the Army had blamed Pakistani troops for violating ceasefire a second time in the same sector. The Army had claimed that Pakistani troops fired six 82-mm mortars towards Naina post in Nowgam sector. This was the first time that Army said Pakistani troops fired 82-mm mortars towards Indian positions. Two days ago, Army had said Pakistani troops made an incursion near Khyan bowl in Nowgam sector and crossed the LoC. In the exchange of fire on the LoC, one Army soldier lost his life. The firing continued for 16 hours. Later, to defuse the tension on LoC, India and Pakistan held a flag meeting in Teetwal sector. The situation along the LoC in north Kashmir’s Kupwara sector turned tense soon after 12 infiltrators were killed by the Army near Sadna in the middle of Tanghdar and Nowgam sectors in the first week of July. Army also lost six soldiers, including three officers in the operation that lasted five days. Sources said after the incident, the Army started setting up observation surveillance posts right from Eagle post in Tanghdar up to Nowgam sector. The Army, however, claims these surveillance posts are temporary. But Pakistani troops posted on the forward posts are opposed to these temporary posts.