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Truce lasts 5 days; India, Pak resume border firing; 2 BSF soldiers killed, at least 8 civilians injured

Jammu, Jun 03: Barely five days after the Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan agreed to implement the ceasefire pact of 2003 in “letter and spirit”, two BSF personnel were killed while three civilians were injured on Sunday as the armies of India and Pakistan traded heavy fire and shelling in Pargwal sector of Akhnoor along the International Border in Jammu.

The firing from across the international border 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 told PTI.

BSF’s Constable Vijay Kumar Pandey and ASI Satya Narayan Yadav succumbed to injuries they had sustained in the cross-border firing, the officer said.

The firing from across the border in violation of the ceasefire agreement prompted a strong and effective retaliation by the BSF, the officer said.

Cross-border firing was going on when last reports came in, he added.

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 and Kashmir.

The two military commanders reviewed the prevailing situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and the international border in Jammu and Kashmir 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 such skirmishes along the international border and the Line of Control (LoC) in the state to 46. The dead include 20 security personnels.

After the DGMOs of the two countries spoke to each other, hope rekindled among border residents who had started returning to their homes but the latest incident would trigger fresh concerns among them.