2 killed as Pak steps up use of snipers
Pakistani snipers have claimed the lives of a soldier and an army porter since Friday in the border districts of Jammu and Rajouri, sparking fresh tension.
An army officer said an unprovoked ceasefire violation at 9.45am on Saturday by Pakistan resulted in a soldier being shot by a sniper along the Rajouri border. Rifleman Varun Katal succumbed to his wounds, he said.
An army porter died in a Pakistani sniper attack in the Akhnoor sector of Jammu district on Friday.
Officials said Indian security forces retaliated but casualties on the other side, if any, could not be ascertained.
Officials said there have been four suspected sniper attacks this week, indicating that Pakistan was increasingly using snipers on the border as well as inside the Valley.
An army man was injured in such an attack on November 6 in the Rajouri sector, while a BSF man was injured in an adjoining area on Friday.
Earlier, three jawans died in three separate sniper attacks in the Valley late last month but security forces achieved a breakthrough on October 30 after they neutralised a Jaish-e-Mohammad sniper, Usman Haider, in a gunfight in Tral, South Kashmir. The slain militant was a nephew of the Pakistan-based Jaish chief Masood Azhar and was believed to be involved in these attacks.
Officials said ceasefire violations this year by Pakistan has been the highest in the past eight years, adding that at least 52 people, mostly security forces, died and 232, including civilians, were injured in the first seven months of 2018.
Two local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were killed in a gunfight in South Kashmir’s Pulwama early on Saturday. They have been identified as Liyaqat Munir Wani and Wajid ul Islam.