In what looked like border skirmishes developing into a full-blown war, Pakistani forces today resorted to heavy shelling and firing across the Line of Control (LoC) from the occupied side of Kashmir even as Indian Army hit back with force in retaliation for the killing of three of their colleagues and mutilation of the body of one soldier (See: Three jawans killed, one mutilated in Pak attack).
Pakistani troops violated ceasefire yet again and resorted to heavy shelling and firing at Indian positions along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region today.
The shelling comes a day after a joint border action team (BAT) of Pakistani troops and terrorists killed three Indian Army soldiers on the LoC in Machil sector of the Kashmir Valley.and left the body of one soldier mutilated.
Hours after Indian Army vowed "heavy retribution" to the attack on its soldiers, the Army today launched a counter-offensive against Pakistan along the LoC (See: India pounds Pak posts along LoC after soldier's beheading).
Brigadier S Gotra of the Northern Command said the Indian Army launched a counter-offensive along the LoC in retaliation to yesterday's offensive in Machhil sector of Kashmir.
The Indian Army posts are responding strongly and giving a befitting reply, Defence PRO Manish Mehta said.
The Pakistan Army fired at Indian posts along the LoC in Bhimber Gali, Krishna Ghati and Nowshera sectors of Poonch and Rajouri districts, news agency IANS quoted Mehta as saying.
"They are using 120 mm mortars and automatics to target our positions, our posts are responding strongly and giving a befitting reply," he added.
The Northern Command spokesman had yesterday tweeted, "3 soldiers killed in action on LC (Line of Control) in Machhal. Body of one soldier mutilated." He said the "retribution will be heavy for this cowardly act."
The soldier whose body was mutilated has been identified as 31-year-old Rifleman Prabhu Singh from Khirjankhas village in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan.
The other two soldiers are Gunner Manoj K Kushwah and Rifleman Shashank K Singh, both from Gazipur district of Uttar Pradesh.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar had yesterday condemned the "cowardly and brutal" killings of three Indian soldiers.
"The cowardly act of mutilating the body of one of the Indian soldiers had all the signatures of a BAT (Border Action Team) operation by Pakistan army using terrorists and its soldiers," said officials.
This is the second such incident of mutilation of the body of an Indian soldier in the same sector since 28 October, which brings out active collusion between Pakistani forces and its terror groups.
Pakistani media, meanwhile, quoted officials as saying that Indian shelling across the LoC into Pakistani-controlled Kashmir today hit a bus, killing at least nine people and wounding 11.
The incident is reported to have taken place in the town of Lawat, Reuters quoted senior police official Jamil Mir as saying.
Pakistan's military media wing, ISPR, said in a statement that seven people were killed and seven others were wounded.
Lawat is 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-held Kashmir, in the upper belt of Neelum Valley - the de facto border that separates Pak-occupied Kashmir from India.