SRINAGAR: Four BSF jawans, including an officer, were killed and five jawans suffered injuries in firing by Pakistani rangers along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said today, sparking anguish and fear amongst residents of further escalation in the vulnerable border areas.

A senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer said Pakistani rangers resorted to unprovoked heavy firing on Indian positions in Ramgarh sector of Samba, resulting in injuries to seven BSF personnel, “An assistant commandant of BSF among three jawans have succumbed while three more were injured in the unprovoked firing,” the officer said.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid condoled the incident. "In Ramgarh Jammu sector of IB , 4 BSF personnel were martyred including one Asstt Commandant & 5 injured due to firing from across. Our heart goes to those who lost their dear ones," he said in a tweet.

The incident comes a day after Pakistan accused the Indian forces of killing a civilian, Muhammad Shakil Qureshi belonging to Taroti Dharamsal village in Abbaspur tehsil of Poonch district, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir in “unprovoked firing” on Tuesday.

On June 3, two BSF personnel, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed and nearly dozen persons, most of them civilians, were injured when Pakistani forces resorted to heavy shelling and machine gun firing along the International Border in Pragwal, Kanachak and Khour sectors.

The flare-up in Samba today is the second major ceasefire violation by Pakistani forces along the IB this month, despite Director General Military Operations of India and Pakistan, establishing a hotline contact on May 29 and agreeing to implement the 2003 ceasefire pact in "letter and spirit".

On June 3, two BSF personnel, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed and 10 persons, mostly civilians, injured in heavy shelling and firing along the IB in Pragwal, Kanachak and Khour sectors.

The DGMO-level meeting was followed by a sector commander-level of BSF and DIG Pakistan Rangers Brigadier on June 4 aimed at ensuring peace along the volatile border which has taken a huge toll on the civilian residents, dozens of whom were killed as the two armies have pounded each others’ locations with increasing ferocity this year.

According to officials, the killings in Samba today have increased the toll of those killed in ceasefire violation along the IB and the Line of Control this year on Indian side to 50, including 24 security personnel. Many civilians have been killed on Pakistani side as well, according to media reports.

Border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir has seen record levels of violence this year, uprooting thousands of people residing in Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Uri, Poonch and other border districts from their homes following intense exchange of firing since the beginning of this year.