Pak troops shell LoC hamlets with 120 mm mortar bombs

Last Updated 17 August 2015, 07:25 IST

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire twice overnight by pounding civilian hamlets and Indian forward posts with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs along the LoC in Poonch district, drawing retaliation from the Army.

This is the ninth consecutive day that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire. There have been 40 violations of the 2003 ceasefire accord in August. There has been over 230 ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pak border this year.

PRO, Defence, Jammu, Col Manish Mehta said today that "Pakistan troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violations in Saujiyan and Mandi sectors of Poonch district and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs and heavy machine guns (HMGs) along LoC from 2200 hours last night to 0100 hours."
Army gave effective reply resulting in exchanges, he said.

Yesterday, a woman was killed and five persons were injured as Pakistani troops fired 120 mm and 82 mm mortars bombs, HMGs and RPGs on border posts and civilian areas in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

The repeated ceasefire violations have claimed six lives in two days from August 15-16, drawing strong protests from India. There have been repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the over 110 kms long borderline in Poonch, Sujiyan, Balakote, Hamirpur, Mandi sectors in Poonch district and Manjakote sector in Rajouri district during 24 hours between August 15-16.

35-year-old Nussarat Begum died in the shelling in Behrote village in Balakote sector, where two persons were injured in Poonch yesterday while three persons were injured in shelling in Manjakote sector of Rajouri district.

India had yesterday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and lodged a strong protest over the ceasefire violations. On Independence Day, five civilians, including a sarpanch were killed and five others injured in heavy firing and mortar bomb shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts and civilian areas.

The dead were identified as 52-year-old Karamat Hussain, who was sarpanch of Basoni, 42-year-old Abdul Rahman, a teacher, and 17-year-old Mohd Sheraj Khan Amin. A 10-year-old child had died in shelling in Basoni along with 18-year-old Mohmmad Amin, who died at GMC Hospital here.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Mendhar, Sher Singh said people in the border areas have been asked to stay indoors. "Heavy shelling right from Mankote up to Balakote sector resumed this morning and the shells fell in interior areas of Mendhar. People are requested to stay indoors and avoid travelling on BG-Balakote road even from Dharana side", he said.

Last month, there were 19 ceasefire violations in which four persons, including three jawans, were killed and 14 others injured.

(Published 17 August 2015, 06:58 IST)

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