Heavy Pak shelling, firing in two sectors of Poonch
Several shells land in villages
JAMMU, Jan 9: In yet another ceasefire violation, Pakistan army resorted to firing and mortar shelling on forward posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district for second consecutive day today.
Pakistani troops targeted forward Indian Army posts and villages in Gulpur and Khadi Karmara villages in Poonch sector this morning.
At about 9 am, Pakistani troops initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by small arms and heavy caliber weapons besides shelling in Gulpur and Khadi Karmara,” official sources said, adding that Indian troops retaliated strongly, leading to heavy exchanges that continued at some places till 1 pm.
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Number of mortar shells landed in the villages of Gulpur and Khadi Karmara but exploded in open fields and there was no casualty on the Indian side. However, casualties and damage, if any, on Pakistan side couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
People in Gulpur and Khadi Karmara told the visiting journalists that some of the mortar shells, fired by Pakistan army, fell close to houses of the people in which the villagers had miraculous escape.
People living in forward villages were terrified after repeated shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops, targeting civilian areas, which could cause casualties. In fact, they said, Pakistan army was deliberately targeting forward villages to cause casualties among the civilians but they haven’t succeeded so far.
They said the Indian Army was giving befitting response to Pakistani troops and this was one of the reasons that civilians have been protected.
“Massive response by the Indian troops to Pakistan army’s firing has averted civilian casualties or damage to their property as the troops were silencing the enemy guns well in time,” they added.
Pakistan has been increasingly violating the 2003 ceasefire agreement with India. It has resorted to firing and shelling along LoC five times in the past seven days, including on Tuesday. Also, the year 2018 witnessed the highest 2,936 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in the past 15 years.
During the past one week, Pakistani troops have targeted forward posts in Mankote, Khadi Karmara and Gulpur areas without any causality.
Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh on Monday had visited forward areas and reviewed security situation in Jammu and Rajouri districts.