• A villager shows a mortar shell that was allegedly fired from Pakistani side at Bainglad in Samba district, Jammu and Kashmir on Jan. 3, 2015.IANS
  • An injured civilian is taken to Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu on Jan 3, 2015. Six civilians were injured due to Pakistani shelling on the international border in Jammu and Kashmir`s Samba and Kathua districts.IANS

The cross border firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir took lives of two Indian soldiers and one woman, while over 2,000 villagers along International Border (IB) were forced to flee to relief camps in Jammu's Samba and Kathua districts on Saturday.

Pakistan started unprovoked firing along the border on Friday and extended it to LoC in the overnight mortar shelling. Of the 11 injured, one was an Indian Army jawan, another a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan and the rest civilians, including a 10-year-old boy.

"They (army) have said Pakistan fired either grenade or rocket which caused fire in the jungle. In the incident two soldiers were killed and two others were injured. It is the Kanaya post of 5-Grenadairs," Kupwara Superintendent of Police Mohammad Rashid told Daily News & Analysis.

Pakistani side not only targeted posts along IB and LoC, but also resorted to mortar shelling on civilian areas along with 13 border outposts (BoPs) of the BSF in Jammu's Samba and Kathua districts.

"One of the shells landed in the compound of a house (in Mangu Chak village) killing a woman and seriously injuring her 14 year-old-son. Three other civilians were also injured in the shelling. Around 10 to 20 houses have been damaged in the cross border shelling," Samba District Development Commissioner Mubarak Singh told DNA.

The cross border firing has induced fear among the villagers forcing them to leave their houses along the border and take shelter in the relief camps.

"Around 500 to 600 persons have been shifted from the border villages which have been put up in five to six camps. We have set up 16 temporary shelter camps. Around eight to 10 villages are affected by the shelling. There are certain places where shelling has happened but people have not been affected," Singh said.

"Around 22 villages are affected by the firing. Around 1406 people have been put up in the eight relief camps," Kathua District Collector Shahid Iqbal said.

The firing started on Friday and continued throughout the night and stopped only at 3am when the BSF forces retaliated. However, they resumed firing along IB, extending to LoC at around 7am on Saturday.

"Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked and heavy firing and mortar shelling on posts and civilian areas along IB in Samba and Kathua districts since 2130 hours last night," Inspector General of BSF Rakesh Sharma told PTI.

"BSF troops gave a befitting reply resulting in exchanges which stopped at 3 AM in the morning," Sharma added.

As Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire, Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed disappointment, saying they are repeatedly targeting Indian borders despite India's efforts to improve relations. 

"While we are offering our hand of friendship to Pakistan, it is continuously indulging in ceasefire violations. We made a beginning by inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who shook hands with him offering not just friendship but also hoping to unite hearts. Despite that, Pakistan is indulging in ceasefire violations repeatedly," Singh said.

Teenager Killed in Pakistan

While India lost three lives in the cross border firing, one teenager was killed in Pakistan's Sialkot area on Saturday.

"13-years-old Sumaira, resident of... Zafarwal sector embraced martyrdom due to the firing [and] 8-year-old Mursaleen of... Shakargarh sector got injured," News24 reported.

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