Jammu: An eight-year-old boy and a border trooper were killed and nine others injured in fresh shelling by Pakistan early Monday, damaging at least 50 villages on this side of the International Border, officials said.
Police said the injured included two Border Security Force (BSF) troopers and seven civilians.
“A BSF trooper, Sushil Kumar, and an eight-year-old boy were killed in heavy shelling and automatic gunfire by Pakistan Rangers,” police said.
Sushil Kumar, a resident of Kurukshetra in Haryana, was inducted in the force in 1992.
He was killed in R.S.Pura sector while the boy died in Kanachak area, the police said.
All the injured were shifted to hospital for treatment.
Officials said Pakistan Rangers targeted around a dozen BSF outposts on the International Border. The firing began around 2 a.m.
About 50 villages have been affected by Pakistan shelling. Ten animals including milch cows, buffaloes and goats have also perished.
“Over a dozen residential houses have also been damaged by mortar shells fired by Pakistan troops. A large number of shells have fallen in agricultural fields in the affected villages causing damage to standing crops and vegetables,” the police said.
BSF troopers effectively retaliated.
“The exchange of fire was triggered by the Pakistani Rangers who resorted to unprovoked shelling and firing at Indian positions around 7 p.m. yesterday (Sunday),” the police said.
Residents in the border villages in Khour tehsil and other places in Jammu district spent another sleepless night as shells from Pakistan burst in the agricultural fields close to their homes.
Border forces of the two countries have been trading fire since the September 29 surgical strikes by the Indian Army at terror launch pads in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
On Sunday, a BSF constable, Gurnam Singh, succumbed to his injuries in firing by Pakistani snipers in Bobiya area of Hira Nagar sector. The firing took place on Friday. Gurnam Singh belonged to Bhalesar village of R.S. Pura in Jammu district.
The BSF had launched a counter-offensive on Friday and claimed to have killed seven Pakistan Rangers and a militant.