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Two BSF personnel killed in ceasefire violation in Akhnoor sector of Jammu & Kashmir

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Two BSF constables identified as Vijay Kumar Pandey and ASI BSF’s Constable Vijay Kumar Pandey and ASI Satya Narayan Yadav, who were injured in cross-border firing by Pakistan in Akhnoor, succumbed to their injuries. lost their lives when they were caught in a ceasefire along the international border of Pakistan in the Akhnoor Sector of Jammu & Kashmir.Eight people including four paramilitary CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force troopers) and an equal number of civilians were injured in the attack.

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The incident comes a day after there were attacks in the state capital of Srinagar that witnessed three grenade attacks by terrorist organisations who claim to have belonged to the Jaish-e-Muhammad militant outfit. Alerts were issued a day before the ceasefire violation took place on account of the Fiyadeen attacks that were to take place in the next 2-3 days.

The first grenade attack took place in Fateh Kadal area of an old city in Srinagar. Three CRPF troopers and three civilians including a woman were injured. In less than three hours, the terrorists carried out the second attack in Badshah Chowk area close to city center Lal Chowk. One CRPF trooper and a civilian pedestrian were injured in the second attack.
The third attack occurred minutes after the second attack. Terrorists hurled a grenade at another CRPF vehicle in Magarmal Bagh area of Srinagar. Nobody was injured in the third attack.

The firing from across the International Border (IB) in the Pragwal area of Akhnoor sector started in the wee hours, resulting in critical injuries to two BSF personnel manning a forward post, a senior officer of the border guarding force reported. But neither of the two made it out of the hospital alive as they eventually succumbed to their injuries.

Sources said the firing began around 2:15am with small arms and later escalated to mortar shelling upto along 10kms from the border. This gave rise to panic across the the villagers right upto Pargwal but the villagers couldn’t escape and stayed indoors yet the villagers took hits due to the intense mortar shelling.

On May 29, the DGMOs of India and Pakistan agreed to “fully implement” the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit” forthwith to stop border skirmishes in Jammu & Kashmir. The two military commanders reviewed the prevailing situation along the LoC and the IB in J&K during a conversation over the special hotline. The hotline contact was initiated by the Pakistani DGMO.

Following the conversation between Indian DGMO Lt Gen Anil Chauhan and Pakistan’s Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the two armies issued identical statements saying both sides agreed to implement the 15-year-old ceasefire understanding.

The latest deaths in the Pakistani firing raised the casualty figure during ceasefire violations along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) in the state to 46. The dead includes 20 security personnel. According to official data, there were 860 ceasefire violations in 2017 which led to the death of 15 Indian soldiers. The number of violations has already shot up to 908 so far this year in which Indian Army has lost 11 soldiers. The Pakistan Army, however, claims there were 1,813 ceasefire violations in 2017 while the number in 2018, so far, is 1,321.

“It’s unfortunate that this has happened even after Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) held dialogue. People on both sides of the border are dying. The DGMOs should hold dialogue again. This bloodshed must be brought to an end.” Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti said in a statement recorded by ANI.

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