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Fresh firing on Indian troops from across LoC

Source: PTI
August 06, 2008 18:55 IST
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Indian Army positions in Nowgam sector of Jammu and Kashmir came under fresh fire from the Pakistan side on Wednesday.

"Since it was a short duration firing, the Army troops at the post could not ascertain if it came from the Pakistani Army or terrorists," Army spokesperson in Srinagar Lt Col A K Mathur told PTI.

The firing from across the border took place at 1215 hours.

"When Indian troops looked at the direction of the fire, it was clear that it came from Pakistani side, but due to the terrain we are not sure if it was from the Pakistan Army," Mathur said.

Wednesday's firing marks yet another incident in a series of cross-border offensives that has put the four-year-old ceasefire between India and Pakistan under stress.

In most of the earlier cases, Pakistani troops have been involved in the firing, prompting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convey India's concerns to his counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani during their meeting in Colombo last week.
India has said such incidents have the potential of putting the dialogue process under stress.

Only a fortnight ago, a group of 12 Pakistani regulars had crossed the LoC at Nowgam and fired at an Indian post killing a jawan.

The provocation from the Pakistani Army led to a retaliatory fire from Indian troops that continued for about 16 hours overnight and resulted in the death of four Pakistani soldiers.

Following the incident, Defence Minister A K Antony, in a strongly-worded statement, had called upon Pakistan to respect the ceasefire agreement of November 2003 and to sort out difference regarding the violations at appropriate level meetings for which a mechanism was already in place.

Since January, the number of ceasefire violations has seen an increase and today's cross-border firing was the 22nd this year.

In most of the cross-border firing this year, the Pakistani Army has been directly involved, according to Indian Army officials.

It has been assessed that the cross-border firings were an attempt to distract the troops when terrorists infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir from across the LoC.

With the Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls scheduled for October, terrorists have been under pressure to maximise their infiltration attempts so as to sabotage the election process in the state, Army sources said.
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