Bushfire sets off 6 landmines in Poonch

Bushfire sets off 6 landmines in Poonch

13 December 2009

published by www.risingkashmir.com


India — The bushfire, which crossed to other side of Line of Control in Poonch district on Sunday, has set off at least six landmines near the Zero Line without causing any loss of life.  
Army has however confirmed only three landmine blasts. Sources said some miscreants set ablaze bushes in Dabi area -few meters inside Line of Control in Balakote Sector at about 10 am on Sunday. “The fire spread in the whole area and covered a distance of about one kilometer of the zero line. Later, the bushfire spread to other side of LoC. The fire caused six landmine explosions on the Zero Line,” they said.
They said the explosions caused minor damage to the LoC fence. However, no loss of life has been reported.
Residents of Balakote said they were frightened about hearing six powerful blasts on Sunday afternoon. “We moved to safer places as these powerful blasts reminded us of the past (before November 2003 when LoC ceasefire came into existence between India and Pakistan). We thought that war had broken out. These kind of explosions were routine affair before the LoC ceasefire,” they said.
When contacted, Col Manju, Commanding Officer of Army operating in forward areas of Balakote confirmed that three landmines exploded in this side of LoC. “These were caused by the bushfire that spread in the area due to unknown reason.”
When told that the locals have heard six blasts, the army officer said, “Only three explosions took place on this side of LoC”.
However, a senior police officer said they came to know from their own sources that a total of six mine explosions had taken place. “Some of the explosions have taken place on the other side of LoC, where bushfire has crossed,” he said.
The official said they have deputed a team of men to the area to take stock of the situation.
He, however, said the bushfire continued to rage when reports last poured in.
Tehsildar Mendhar, Dev Raj told Rising Kashmir that the district administration has been informed by army that three blasts have taken place on this side of LoC. “Since there is no residential area in the blast sites, no loss of life has taken place,” he added.


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