A senior police officer told news agency PTI that two civilians were killed and six injured in the shelling that started at 9 am today in Samba district. Pakistani Rangers also targeted civilian areas and posts in Kathua district. "In today's firing and shelling (in Kathua), three villagers have been injured, while a fourth person succumbed to injuries on the way to the hospital," he said, adding that those injured have been admitted to hospitals.
The police officer also said that hundreds of people have been evacuated and put in safe shelters and an operation to evacuate others is going on with use of bullet proof vehicles.
FIRING AND SHELLING BY PAKISTAN OVER ONE WEEK
Over the last week, twelve people, including an infant and two soldiers have been killed, and nearly sixty civilians injured as Pakistani troops increasingly target Indian villages. Pakistan has been shelling and firing mortar bombs at dozens of settlements along the International Border. The Border Security force is responding with "strong and effective retaliation".
Hundreds of villagers had to vacate their homes and take shelter either with their relatives or at relief camps set up by the government at safer places. All educational institutions in the areas remained closed.
"Pakistan Rangers have indulged in heavy and indiscriminate shelling of mortar bombs and firing of small arms and automatic weapons at night, targeting villages in the Ramgarh and Samba sectors," a police officer told news agency PTI.
Fifteen persons -- 13 in the Ramgarh sector, and two in the Samba sector -- were injured in the firing and shelling on Tuesday, he said, adding that of them, 11 were sent to the GMC Hospital in Jammu, while the remaining four were admitted to different hospitals in the district.
While 70-year-old Kaushalya Devi, 48-year-old Madan Lal Bhagat, 52-year-old Des Raj and 65-year-old Thudu Ram were injured in Arnia and RS Pura sectors of Jammu district, 22-year-old Aman Singh of Bobiyan village was injured in the Hiranagar sector in Kathua district, officials said.
They added that the firing from across the border was intense as 80 mm and 120 mm mortar shells hit dozens of villages, including Jora Farm -- a settlement of milkmen -- in the morning.
SD Singh Jamwal, the Inspector General of Police, Jammu, said police parties were deployed and they were helping residents in the areas shift to safer places.
Divisional Commissioner (Jammu) Hemant Kumar Sharma said relief camps were activated at safer places all along the border, especially in the worst-hit RS Pura and Arnia sectors.
A senior BSF official said firing and shelling continued unabated last night, and has spread to all sectors along the International Border.
Over 700 people have reported at camps set up in educational institutions and other government buildings. Adequate facilities have been made available at these camps.
The latest round of shelling started on May 15 when the BSF foiled two infiltration attempts by Pakistan-backed infiltrators in Samba sector and intensified a day after Pakistan "pleading" with the BSF to stop firing after being pounded with heavy artillery that left a trooper dead across the border on May 20.
The state has witnessed a spurt in Pakistani shelling and firing along the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC) this year. Over 700 such incidents have been reported this year, which have left over 40 people, including 18 security personnel, dead and scores injured.
(With inputs from PTI)
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