After the killing of three of its soldiers on Tuesday, Indian Army in a heavy retribution launched a fire assault on against Pakistani posts at different points along the LoC on Wednesday.
Following the assault, Pakistan has claimed that 12 civilians and three of its soldiers, including a captain, were killed, reported The Kashmir Monitor. Pakistan said Indian forces targeted an ambulance and a passenger bus near the Dhudnial town in Neelum Valley along the Line of Control (LoC).
India said Pakistan opened fire on civilian targets in the sectors of Machil, Keran and Gurez. Shells landed close to the Kishanganga dam project, forcing workers to take shelter in the tunnels there. Defence PRO Manish Mehta said that Indian Army posts were responding “strongly and giving a befitting reply”.
The counter-offensive by India follows the Army Northern Command vow that “retribution will be heavy for this cowardly act”, a reference they made to the mutilation of a soldier’s body a day before.
The Pakistan Army, in its statement, said it lodged a protest over the strike on the bus. It said an ambulance, which approached the bus to evacuate the injured, too, was fired upon.
Tensions between Pakistan and India have been running high following an alleged ‘surgical strike’, unrest in Kashmir and the Uri army base attack in September. Since then there have been repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing in Kashmir, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including of civilians.
Pakistan said India was “trying to divert the attention of the international community from the grave human rights violations and atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces in Kashmir”.