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Fresh firing in Poonch after Indian Army detects movement near LoC

CNN-IBN
Jan 12, 2013 at 11:48pm IST

Poonch: Even as the tension between India and Pakistan continues to escalate, fresh firing has been reported from the Krishnaghati area in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir. According to reports, the firing began after the Indian Army noticed some movement across the Line of Control (LoC) in the area.

This comes a day after firing was reported from the Pakistani side on eight Indian posts in Krishna Ghati and Sona Gali sectors. According to sources, the firing had lasted for about 20 minutes.

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"There was a movement of 6 to 7 persons close to LoC opposite Krishna Ghati sub-sector in Poonch sector at around 2145 hours tonight", Defence Spokesman Col RK Palta. Indian troops opened fire on the suspected infiltrators, the spokesman said adding that thereafter exchange of heavy fire took place.

After about half-an-hour of exchange of fire, the suspected infiltrators disappeared from the scene, Col Palta said adding the intensity of firing from both sides has reduced but is still on.

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It is suspected that either a groups of militants or Border Action Team (BAT) could have been undertaking movement close to LoC opposite Krishna Ghati in Poonch on Saturday night. The eruption of exchange of fire broke a lull of 48 hours.

Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire by firing mortars shells and from small arms on Indian posts along LoC, the Defence spokesman said.

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Earlier on Friday, there were reports of overnight firing from the Pakistan side in the Poonch sector at more than three places along the LoC. India maintained that the firing was unprovoked. There have been three violations of the nine-year-old ceasefire along the LoC in the past five days.

The tension between the countries escalated after two Indian Army soldiers were killed and their bodies brutalised in a cross-border raid by Pakistani troops on Tuesday while a Pakistani soldier had died on Sunday. The clashes were among the most serious violations of the truce that was put in place in late 2003.

The tension has remained along the LoC as Pakistan hasn't yet responded to the Indian Army's offer of a flag meeting to de-escalate the situation. Angered by the response, India's Air Chief has warned of other options, even as 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed is continuing to stoke the crisis.

"What is happening in the last few months is not acceptable. If this continues, perhaps we will have to look at other options for compliance of the set norms on the border," said Air Force chief NAK Browne.

The air chief's remarks appeared aimed at Pakistan's delay in responding to India seeking a flag meeting to bring down tensions in areas like Poonch. Though no firing was reported since Friday night, unconfirmed reports claimed a build up of Pakistani troops along parts of the Line of Control.

In Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed accused India of complicity in the bombing of 82 people in Quetta earlier this week, and warned of an ugly situation in Kashmir. Accusing India of trying to worsen the situation, Saeed said, "They want to escalate the violence to avoid a permanent resolution...This border tension can turn into an ugly situation like a war and we want to avoid it."

However, despite the tensions remaining high, most experts are of the view that the two countries should not risk the biggest India-Pakistan confidence building measure - a ceasefire that has lasted nine years now.

(With Additional Inputs from PTI)

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