Boy, girl killed in ceasefire breach in Poonch

Boy, girl killed in ceasefire breach in Poonch
A minor boy and a girl were killed while 11 civilians were injured as Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling and firing on forward areas and border hamlets in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

Reports said Pakistani troops used 120 mm and 82 mm mortar shells to pound border hamlets and military posts in Degwar, Banvat, Bagyal Dhara, Shahpur and Kirni sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch at around 6:50 am.

A 10-year-old boy identified as Israr Ahmad was killed in Kirni sector after suffering multiple injuries due to Pakistani shelling, while four others were wounded.

In Dhingwar sector, three civilians were wounded due to the shelling, a police officer said. A teenage girl, who had received multiple injuries, later died in a hospital.

He said four more civilians were injured when Pakistani troops again opened fire in Dhingwar sector at around 10:25 am.

The official said Indian troops fired in retaliation. Eyewitnesses told DH over phone that several mortar shells landed inside or close to houses in border villages creating a wave of panic and fear among the residents.

In a number of villages, people could not even come out of their houses as shelling continued.

A senior army officer said they expect ceasefire violations to continue for some days as Pakistan has been relentlessly trying to push heavily-armed militants into India, with the nefarious intention of disturbing peace and cause casualties on security forces in the hinterland.

“However, well aware of Pakistan’s new strategy, we have strengthened our anti-infiltration grid. Whenever militants try to infiltrate, they will be either killed or forced to retreat,” he added. Meanwhile, the army on Monday foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Tanghdar sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district and killed one militant.

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