Army, BSF troops along IB, LoC put on highest degree of alertness: Officials
Jammu: The Army and BSF have been put on the highest degree of alertness along the border here after air space violations by the neighbouring country and the night-long heavy firing and shelling by Pakistani troops on forward and civilians areas across the LoC which stopped on Wednesday.
Authorities have ordered temporary closure of educational institutions in a 5-km radius along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri and Poonch districts on Wednesday amid mounting tensions between the two countries, following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 and an Indian air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed camp inside Pakistan on Tuesday.
All residents of the border areas have been asked to remain inside their homes and not venture outside.
"There was night long-heavy firing and mortar shelling along the LoC in most of areas in Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts. However there was no firing and shelling from across the border on Wednesday," officials said.
"Army and BSF troops have been put on highest alert along the LoC and International Border (IB) in view of the high degree of tension in wake of air space violations," they said.
According to some reports, panic gripped the residents of border areas and some locals have left their homes and moved to safer areas.
Pakistan on Wednesday said that its jets crossed the Line of Control to undertake strikes in India for "self defence".
Indian officials said Pakistani fighter jets on Wednesday violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Nowshera sectors but were pushed back by Indian aircraft.
On Tuesday night, the Indian Army destroyed five Pakistani posts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in a befitting retaliation to firing from across the border, resulting in a "number of casualties" to Pak troops, a defence official had said.
"The Indian Army retaliated for effect and our focused fire resulted in severe destruction to five posts and number of casualties to Pak army (along LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts)," a defence PRO said.
From 6:30 pm Tuesday, the Pakistani Army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with heavy calibre weaponry along the LoC out of frustration, he said.
The Pakistani troops were also seen firing mortars and missiles from civilian houses, using villagers as human shields.
However, the Indian Army targeted the Pakistani posts away from civilian areas, the PRO said, adding that this resulted in a "number of casualties" to Pak troopers.
In exchange of fire, five soldiers of the Indian Army suffered minor injuries, out of which two of them were shifted to a military hospital for medical treatment. They are stable.