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Pakistan Ranger’s death sparks off border firing, 25 Indian outposts targeted

Villagers look at an unexploded tail of a mortar shell, fired by Pakistani troops, at Jerda village in Samba district. (PTI)

In one of the worst incidents of ceasefire violations on the International Border (IB), firing continued for the fourth successive day Monday, with as many as 25 border outposts on the Indian side being targeted.

Stating that this was the first time in over three years that the region has seen such heavy firing, Border Security Force (BSF) officials alleged that it could be cover for a large scale infiltration attempt. They said there have been as many as 36 ceasefire violations in the region this month.

According to available reports, seven persons, including two security personnel, have been injured on the Indian side, while at least two Pakistanis have been killed and two injured.

The recent confrontation between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers was reportedly triggered by the death of a Pakistan Ranger, Israr Ahmed, in the Chaprar sector on October 17.

BSF sources said Ahmed was killed after the Indian posts responded to heavy firing by the Pakistani forces. The same day, five persons, including three children, were injured in Najwal, on the Indian side.

On October 18, a BSF personnel and a police constable were injured in continued firing. A civilian, allegedly an infiltrator, was reportedly killed and two others injured on the Pakistan side. Pakistan, however, refused to accept the body.

PTI quoted BSF officers as saying that the Pakistani forces fired at the outposts in the forward areas of Jammu and Samba districts throughout Sunday night. The Pakistan Rangers also shelled civilian hamlets along the border, triggering panic. “They are firing round-the-clock on our posts and patrolling persons to inflict casualties,” a BSF personnel was quoted as saying.

While the heavy shelling and mortar fire is expected to continue for the next few days, union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is scheduled to visit the forward areas on Tuesday. He will also visit Samba, where a group of terrorists had carried out an attack on Army and police posts last month.

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