Pakistan violates ceasefire, rains shells on Poonch, Rajauri

27 September 2017

The Indian Army said on Wednesday that Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Rajauri districts, targeting forward posts.

''The Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively,'' a defence spokesperson said.

A woman was reportedly injured as Pakistani troops launched mortar shelling on civilian areas. Identifying the injured woman as Shamim Akhtar of Dharati village, sources said that mortar shells from across the LoC suddenly started falling in Balakote area of Mendhar around 8 am, according to The Indian Express. It soon spread to Shahpur area of Poonch and then to Manjakote sector of adjoining Rajouri district.

The defence spokesperson said Pakistan Army had initiated ''unprovoked and indiscriminate'' firing of small arms, automatic and mortars from 8.15 am onward in the Poonch and Bhimbher Gali sectors.

The Pakistani troops were using long range shells, which were falling deep inside civilian areas on the Indian side. The people were staying indoors as the shelling was intense, sources said, adding that the Indian army was retaliating.

For the past over two months, there have been continued incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan on both the LoC and the international border. On Saturday, two soldiers were injured when Pakistani troops allegedly opened fire at forward posts along the Line of Control in Balakote sector of Poonch district.

The escalation in situation along the border has already led to suspension of cross-LoC trade and travel between two sides through Chakkan Da Bagh on the Poonch-Rawalakote road.

Along the international border, a Border Security Force constable and a woman have been killed and over a dozen civilians injured in mortar shelling by Pakistani Rangers this month. The shelling has also caused damage to residential houses at many places, making a number of people shift to safer places.

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