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Firing at LoC jolts Indo-Pak ceasefire

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Last updated on: May 14, 2008 19:27 IST
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In less than a week's time, Pakistani forces opened unprovoked fire for the second time on an Indian border post in Jammu and Kashmir at Tangdhar, with the Army on Wednesday requesting a flag meeting with its Pakistani counterparts in the sector.

Using heavy machine guns and mortars, Pakistani troops targeted a forward Indian post last night in Tangdhar region in North Kashmir.

Within a span of 15 to 20 minutes, Pakistani troops fired 50 to 60 rounds from heavy machine guns and heavy mortars on the Indian post, the sources said.

The Army said it has requested a flag meeting with their Pakistani counterparts in Tangdhar sector.

"We have requested for a flag meeting with the Pakistani counterparts following the incident of firing on Tuesday night," Army spokesman Colonel Manjinder Singh said.

"We cannot say who fired the shots -- militants or the regulars. We hope to resolve the issue during the flag meeting," Singh said in response to a question.

Although there have been several infiltration bids by militants, this is first incident of firing along the LoC in Tangdhar sector since the ceasefire announced by India and Pakistan in November 2003.

The firing by the Pakistani troops from across the LoC comes close on the heels of Pakistani Rangers breaching the ceasefire on the international border in Samba sector earlier this week. It also takes place less than a week after Army chief General Deepak Kapoor visited the sector on May 9.

Additional Reportage: PTI

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar