Border flare-up toll rises to 6

Border flare-up toll rises to 6

Border flare-up toll rises to 6

The toll in the ongoing ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir mounted to six as a woman succumbed to her injuries on Sunday.

Masarat Kousar, a resident of Balakote area of Poonch, had been injured on Saturday after a mortar shell fired by Pakistani troops hit her house.

Five people had been killed and 20 others injured on Saturday in unabated shelling by Pakistan in various sectors of Poonch.

Defence spokesman Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said mortar shelling from across the LoC restarted at 12:30 am on Sunday and continued intermittently. “Adequate and befitting reply was being given by the Indian Army,” he added.

The ceasefire violations have reportedly forced hundreds of border-village residents in Poonch to migrate to safer places.

Eyewitness told Deccan Herald over phone that the latest relentless shelling has triggered migration from Mankote to Balakote in the Mendhar tehsil. “As rockets and mortars started landing in forward villages, people — mostly women and children — boarded trucks and trolleys and shifted to safer places,” they said.

The state government has already put a contingency plan in place anticipating this migration. However, given the chaos created by the intense shelling, the administration has no real-time figures on the number of people who have been displaced.

“A war-like situation prevails on the border, with sound of mortar shell explosions and firing shaking people,” said the eyewitnesses.

A senior Army official said the Pakistani side used long-range weapons in the latest shelling to target civilian areas, as was evident from mortar shells landing as much as 3 km inside the Indian territory.

“The Army is closely monitoring the situation, and several measures have been taken following the recent shelling. Besides redeployment, extra deployment has also been made in some sensitive locations, particularly in the Krishna Ghati sector,” he said.

The official said there was also possibility of militants infiltrating to this side recently. “A massive search operation is also in progress in areas close to the LoC,” he added.

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