In a major flare-up along the Line of Control, seven people including four soldiers were killed in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in several areas in north Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, officials said.
Two army soldiers were killed in Pakistani firing in the Nambla sector in Baramulla district, the officials said. Pakistani forces used mortars and other weapons.
A Border Security Force (BSF) sub-inspector was also killed while a jawan was injured in the Haji Peer sector, they said.
Two civilians were killed in Kamalkote sector in Uri area of Baramulla district while a woman was killed in Balkote area in Haji Peer sector of Uri, they added.
Indian forces have strongly retaliated to the shelling and army sources said there have been multiple casualties on the Pakistani side.
Around 6-7 Pakistan army soldiers, including two SSG (Special Service Group) commandos, have been killed and 10-12 injured, army sources said.
A number of Pakistani army bunkers, fuel dumps and launchpads have been destroyed and set on fire, they added. Videos released by the army showed the targets being destroyed.
Officials said several people were injured in the Pakistani shelling inside Indian territory.
They said apart from various places in Uri, ceasefire violations were reported from Izmarg in Gurez sector of Bandipora district and Keran sector of Kupwara district.
A defence spokesperson said the army blocked an infiltration attempt under the cover of the Pakistani firing, along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Keran sector.
“Suspicious movement was observed by our troops at the forward posts along the LoC in Keran sector (in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district) today. The suspected infiltration bid was foiled by alert troops,” Col Rajesh Kalia said.
“They fired mortars and other weapons. Befitting response is being given,” he said.
In New Delhi, BSF officials said Sub Inspector Rakesh Doval, 39, posted at the force’s artillery battery at the LoC in Baramulla was killed after he was injured in the firing around 1:15 pm.
Constable Vasu Raja was also injured but is now stable. He was posted at the same forward location, they said.
Almost all BSF units along the LoC have been under fire since the morning and an effective retaliation by the troops, artillery regiment and support weapons has been mounted, a senior officer of the force said.
The BSF works under the operational command of the army at the LoC.
“The Sub Inspector has made supreme sacrifice in line of duty while facing heavy ceasefire violation from the enemy. The sub-officer was a resident of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand and joined the border force in 2004,” the officer said.
Rakesh Doval is survived by his father, wife and a 9-year-old daughter, he said.
In Srinagar, Col Kalia said the ceasefire violation spread to larger areas from Keran to Uri sectors.
This was the second infiltration attempt within a week. The earlier unsuccessful attempt in Machil sector during the intervening night of November 7- 8 was blocked in which three terrorists were killed.
Three army soldiers, including a Captain, and a BSF jawan also lost their lives during the operation.
“The Indian Army is well poised to defeat all attempts by Pakistan to infiltrate terrorists into J-K,” the spokesperson said.
(With inputs from PTI)