A major and three soldiers of the Indian Army were martyred in cross firing by Pakistan Army in Keri sector of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir. The incident happened on Saturday afternoon when Pakistan violated the ceasefire and opened fire on the Indian Army patrol party. According to defence ministry spokesperson, the deceased personnel have been identified as Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh of 2 Sikh battalion.

The major and three soldiers were killed in the shelling, while another soldier was injured is undergoing treatment. An army officer said that the troops responded ‘strongly and effectively’ to the ceasefire violation. Major Ambadas, 32, belonged to the Bhandara district of Maharashtra, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, 34, was from Amritsar, Punjab and Sepoy Pargat Singh, 30, belonged to Karnal in Haryana.

“Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, and Sepoy Pargat Singh were brave and sincere soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” the army said in a statement.

A dozen people including civilians and soldiers have been killed in nearly 300 incidents of ceasefire violations along the border in the year 2017 so far. In 2016, there were 228 such incidents, The Indian Express reported. At least 780 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the 778-km Line of Control (LoC) have already been recorded by the Indian Army this year. The two countries exchange heavy fire at different places along the LoC on a daily basis.

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