Heavy Firing Again In Poonch, Balakote Sectors

Heavy Firing Again In Poonch, Balakote Sectors

10 September 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: After medium range firing at four posts in Pallanwalla sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Akhnoor sector, Pakistan Army last night opened firing at Poonch, Mendhar and Gambhir sectors indicating that there has been no let up in hostilities on the LoC that had started with August 6 killings of five Indian Army soldiers in Sarla battalion area at Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch sector. A group of militants is also reported to have tried to infiltrate between Dadot and Tarkundi forests in Balakote sector but failed due to strict surveillance maintained by the Army in view of heavy Pakistan firing for past over one month. Official sources told the Excelsior that Pakistan Army opened heavy firing in Khari Karmara forward area of Poonch sector at 10 pm last night from their Mumtaz, Ullu and Chuha posts targeting Indian posts. The Pakistan side used automatic, small and medium firearms during the firing that continued till 4 am today. Indian side retaliated. Fresh Pakistan firing triggered panic in civilian areas including Galani Gali, Khari Karmara, Gulpur and Ajot, which were located close to Khari Karmara sub sector. The people spent sleepless night as last month they had witnessed mortar shells and rockets felling close to their houses leading to injuries to some civilians. “Initially the firing was intense but its momentum came down gradually. After couple of hours, only intermittent firing took place. Firing completely ceased at 4 am,’’ sources said. In Mendhar sector, Pakistan Army started firing at 10.30 pm and continued it till 11.45 pm while in neighbouring Gambhir (Balakote) it started at 9.15 pm and continued till 11.45 pm. About six posts of the Army came under firing from Pakistan side at both the places. The Indian side gave an effective reply at all the places. “We retaliated at all the places. Our response was very effective. We silences Pakistani guns with retaliation,’’ sources said, adding that there were no casualties or damage at any place on the Indian side. Casualties or damage, if any, on the other side couldn’t be ascertained. This was 56th ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC and International Border in Jammu sector since tensions escalated between India and Pakistan after the killing of five Indian soldiers on intervening night of August 5 and 6. This was 90th ceasefire violation from Pakistan side this year. Reports said that during last night’s firing in Balakote sector, Pakistan Army also tried to push a group of five to seven militants into the Indian territory between Dadot and Tarkundi forest area. However, the group retreated after retaliatory firing by the Indian troops and finding Army in high state of alert all along the LoC. The group of infiltrators was heavily armed and appeared to be Pakistanis. “The militants fled back to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) after finding the troops alert everywhere,’’ sources said. There had been reports that over 150 militants were stationed very close to the LoC on Pakistan side in launching pads and bunkers and were making frequent attempts under the cover of Pakistan firing to sneak into this side. However, Army has thwarted all infiltration attempts made by the militants. Last night, Pakistan Army had also fired at four forward posts of the Army in Pallanwalla sector of Akhnoor tehsil. No damage was reported on the Indian side.