Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire

Tension escalates along Line of Control
Last Updated 17 August 2015, 19:25 IST

The escalated tension along the Line of Control (LoC) has created a war-like situation on the border in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir as Pakistan continued to violate ceasefire and pound Indian forward posts and civilian areas on Monday.

Reports said violating the ceasefire on ninth consecutive day, Pakistan troops again resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and heavy firing on Border Out Posts (BoPs) and villages in Poonch district since Sunday night.

Defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said Pakistani troops resorted to ceasefire violations in Saujiyan and Mandi sectors of Poonch and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs and heavy machine guns along the LoC from 10 pm last night to 1 am in the morning.

“Army gave effective reply, resulting in exchanges. Intermittent firing is still on. No casualty of our troops has been reported so far,” he added.

At least six civilians were killed and nearly 20 others injured due to intense shelling by Pakistani troops on August 15 and 16.

Eyewitnesses told Deccan Herald over phone that Pakistan pounding civilian areas and BoPs with long-range mortar shells throughout the night has led to fresh wave of fear psychosis among the people.

“The intensity of 120 mm and 82 mm mortar shelling was such that some of the shells landed four kilometers inside the LoC. Dozens of houses have been damaged due to the shelling,” a civilian from forward village of Basooni in Balakote sector in Poonch said.

He said such was precarious situation in forward villages that people were neither in a position to live inside their houses nor able to shift to safer areas as Pakistan was shelling uninterruptedly.

Unconfirmed reports said a few thousand people have migrated from border areas of Poonch towards safer places. While some of the families had left for the houses of their relatives, others took shelter in the relief camps.

Reports added that 30 km stretch from Bhimber Gali to Mankote was under intense Pakistan shelling and movement of civilians and vehicles has been restricted.

Administration has asked people not to venture on this road and also advised those living within the firing range not to roam outside their houses.

(Published 17 August 2015, 19:25 IST)

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