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Pak-based terror group fires rocket
DHANDAE (AMRITSAR), JUL 5:
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Published on 5 Jul. 2009 11:04 PM IST
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In what appeared to be an attack by a Pakistan-based terror group, two rockets were fired at an Indian village late Saturday night, spreading panic in the region. Incidentally, one rocket fell within the Pakistan territory while another fell in an Indian village. No casualties have been reported. However, one person was slightly injured with the splinter of the rocket. The rocket, believed to be fired from the Pak soil at around 9.50 pm on Saturday night, fell in an irrigated paddy field of Dhandae village in Punjab causing blast and about ten feet wide crater. A portion of the paddy field was also burnt. Soon after the incident, senior BSF, Army and police officials reached the spot. This is the first ever incident in peace time when an Indian village on Punjab’s international border with Pakistan came under attack from the Pakistan soil. The attack has also posed serious threat to the safety of visitors who throng Attari land border to witness the daily Beating the Retreat ceremony even as the Border Security Force (BSF) has no weaponry or system to stop a rocket midway. According to Times News Network, earlier on March 30, at least 12 armed Taliban had attacked the Manawan police academy in Pakistan, situated barely 8 km from Indo-Pak international border during the morning drill hours, when around 750 police recruits were on parade. While not ruling out the possibility of rocket attack by Pak-based terrorist organization, BSF Inspector General (IG), Frontier, Himmat Singh said, “We held the commandant level meeting at night with Pakistan Rangers and have conveyed our strong protest.” He said that Pak Rangers have assured to get back to them after investigating the incident. Dilbagh Singh, an eyewitness, who also received minor bruises from a splinter said, “I saw a ball of flame falling in the paddy field and then something hit my leg.” He said he got scared and rushed away from the site. Sukhwinder Kaur, another eyewitness said, “we were all panicky and ran out from our houses, for once it appeared as if Pakistan has attacked.” “What if the rocket had fallen on a house” she asked. Mukhtiar Singh, a local resident who was returning home from his daily work said, “I was drunk and saw some iron object lying near the field. I picked it up and took it to my home. But when I came to know there had been a blast and it could be a bomb shell, I got scared and gave the iron piece to police.” BSF has found the tail piece of the rocket and its another part bearing 07R marking. Some of the BSF jawans posted at border posts said that they saw a rocket at the height of about 300 metre from ground level, coming from the Pakistani side on Saturday night. Knowledgeable sources said that the rocket had traveled at least 4.5 km distance. “It could have been launched from 2 km inside the Pak territory and hit nearly 2.5 km inside Indian soil.” However, sources informed that the rocket attack could be a retaliatory action of killing of a Pak intruder, presumably a Taliban or belonging to another terrorist group, by BSF on Saturday noon near the border fence. “This incident could also be a part of strategy of Taliban or other terror groups to show their strength and divert attention of Pakistan government after its ( Pak government) decision to challenge Lahore High Court’s verdict of releasing of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafeez Mohammad Saeed,” said sources. Meanwhile, BSF has taken further measures to strengthen the security of visitors who throng Attari border every day to witness the Beating the Retreat ceremony. The IG said “Such rocket attacks need to be controlled by Pakistan security forces alone as they have no mechanism to stop a rocket midway”.

 
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