Two Indian Army personnel, including a Major-rank officer, were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district on Friday. The IED was planted by suspected militants in foot-track along the LoC to target soldiers patrolling the borderline in the Laam belt of Rajouri's Nowshera sector, officials said.
Sources told Hindustan Times that the attack involved two IED explosions, and the Major was killed in the second one when he went to rescue a soldier hit by the first blast.
The blasts fatally injured the two soldiers, identified by The Indian Express as Major SG Nair and rifleman Jiwan Gurang. They were rushed to a local hospital, where they succumbed to injuries.
According to the Hindustan Times report, three other soldiers have also sustained injuries in the blast. In view of the incident, soldiers have been alerted against IED blasts and attacks by the Border Action Teams (BATs) of the Pakistan Army.
In another incident, a porter in the Indian Army was also killed in Rajouri on Friday when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire agreement on the fourth consecutive day along the LoC in the district.
Army porter Hemraj was critically injured when Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district, PRO Defence Lt Col Devender Anand said. "Army porter Hemraj was shot at and grievously injured. The individual was provided with immediate resuscitation and medical aid. He, however, also later succumbed to the gunshot wounds. The army authorities have promised all possible assistance to the family of martyred army porter," Lt Col Anand said.
Pakistan troops also resorted to firing and shelling along the LoC in forward areas of the Poonch district, the officials said. Indian troops guarding the borderline retaliated strongly, resulting in an exchange of fire on both sides, they added.
Both the incidents come as Pakistan accused India of not responding to its repeated offers for peace talks. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Imran Khan told Turkish news agency TRT World: "India was offered to take one step forward and we shall take two. But India rejected Pakistan's offer for talks several times."
India on Friday refuted Khan's claims, saying there was "no seriousness" in Islamabad's offer for talks as it continued to extend "explicit support" to terror organisations and was now trying to mainstream them.
Despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquility at India-Pakistan flag meetings, Pakistan continues to violate the ceasefire, officials said.
On Thursday, Pakistan resorted to firing and shelling in two sectors of Rajouri and Poonch resulting in injuries to an army major and a BSF jawan in the Tarkundi forward area of Balakote sector.
On Wednesday, Pakistan troops resorted to firing in the Kalal forward area in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district besides shelling in Poonch sector, the officials said.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh had on Monday visited forward areas along the LoC and reviewed security situation of Jammu and Rajouri districts.
Lt Gen Singh accompanied by the White Knight Corps commander Lt Gen Paramjit Singh also visited forward posts of Rajouri and Akhnoor sectors to review the operational preparedness and the prevailing security situation, the officials said.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jan 12, 2019 09:34:22 IST