Pakistan shells forward areas along LoC in Poonch

Pakistan shells forward areas along LoC in Poonch

Border Security Force (BSF) patrol near the international border at Hiranagar sector in Jammu. (PTI Photo)

The Pakistani army continued heavy shelling targeting various sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district, leaving a 25-year-old civilian injured and at least two residential houses damaged, officials said on Sunday.

The shelling from across the border in Mendhar and Balakote sectors started around 11 pm on Saturday and continued till 4:50 am Sunday, followed by fresh rounds of fire in Kirni, Qasba and Degwar sectors this evening, they said.

Mohammad Yasir, a resident of Gohlad, received splinter injuries when a mortar shell exploded near his house in the early hours of Sunday, the officials said.

They said over half a dozen villages in forward areas were hit by the overnight shelling, resulting in partial damage to two houses.

The shelling was intense in the Mendhar sector as the Pakistan army used long-range mortars to target civilian areas, the officials said.

The Indian Army effectively retaliated but the casualties on the Pakistani side could not be ascertained immediately, they said.

The panic-stricken people in the targeted areas spent the whole night in bunkers and other safe places, they said.

A defence spokesman said the Pakistan Army initiated the unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and lobbying mortars along the LoC in Balakote and Mendhar sectors, causing damage to civilian houses.

In a separate statement this evening, the spokesman said Pakistan again initiated unprovoked ceasefire violations in Kirni, Qasba and Degwar sectors around 7.50 pm, drawing a befitting response by Indian army.

The cross-border shelling was going on when the reports last came in, he said.

On Saturday, Pakistan had targeted forward areas in Kirni and Khari Karmara areas of Poonch district.

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