Reyaz Rashid

Uri frontline witnessing ‘virtual war’

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Pak army uses PAS asking residents to shift to safer places; NC concerned over shelling

Kashmir Images Photo

Baramulla, Feb 24: As Indian and Pakistani troops continued to trade fire and shells across the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector, the latter today reportedly asked the civilians to shift to safer places.

“The Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian posts along the LoC in Uri sector in Baramulla district of north Kashmir around 11.50 am,” an Army official said, adding that “Indian soldiers are retaliating effectively and no casualties have been reported so far.”

Meanwhile, panic-stricken residents were further scared today as amid intense shelling and firing exchange between two sides, the Pakistani Army started making announcements through public address system (PSA), asking Uri residents to vacate their homes, reports said.

In twin villages of Uri’s Silkote and Churanda five residential houses were damaged on Saturday morning in heavy exchange of artillery between the two sides.

Evacuation of local population has been started on war-footing basis in Uri , said an official.

Scores of vehicles including ambulances have been pressed into the service to evacuate civilian population, said an official, adding that 100 people have been taken to safer locations from morning.

Meanwhile, the local administration in Uri has established control room in the area.

Officials said that several people are reportedly trapped in Silkote and Churanda villages and efforts are on to shift them to safer places.

Sources said that heavy artillery is being used from both the sides and the situation prevailing looks like a virtual war.

While Pakistani forces are using whatever weaponry is available with them, Indian side has pressed into service Bofors too, some sources said.

Meanwhile, National Conference working president and former CM, Omar Abdullah on Saturday expressed serious concern over the continued heavy cross-LoC shelling in Uri and sought immediate measures by the administration to ensure the safety of civilians in the area.

Expressing solidarity with the civilians who are facing a dangerous, precarious situation due to heavy and unabated cross-LoC shelling, Omar said the State government should ensure their safety at all costs.

Meanwhile, senior NC Leader and MLA Uri, Muhammad Shafi Uri lashed out at the administration for not taking any measures to evacuate the locals to safe shelters and safer areas. He said there are apprehensions that any further escalation in shelling could lead to serious loss of life and property in Uri.


What happened during the day!

1215 hrs: Pak army post Hajipir  (41 FF, 06 AK Bgd) and Indian Post Rustam (4 Gharwal, 161 Inf Bgd), Hathlanga Sub Sector exchange heavy fire.

1230 hrs: Pak army post Lone hut (834 Mujahid, 06 AK Bgd) opens fire on Indian Post Tikka (17 Jat, 161 Inf Bgd), Churunda Sub Sector. Exchange of fire going on.

1300 hrs: Pak army post Jay

shri   (41 FF, 06 AK Bgd) targeted Indian Posts Tuntun and Sharmila (05 Garnadier, under 161 Inf Bgd Rampur) and some posts under Gulmarg sector. Exchange continued till 1815 hrs.

21:03: Exchange of fire again started at 2000 hrs between Rustam (Indian post) and Hajipir (Pak post) of Hathlanga sub-sector.

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