Civilian areas hit in KG sector

Heavy losses suspected on Pak side

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 20: Pakistan army this afternoon resorted to very heavy shelling and firing targeting forward defence locations and civilian areas in Krishna Ghati sector and Balnoi sub sector of Mendhar in Poonch district creating panic among the civilians who deserted their fields and took shelter in houses and bunkers.
Pakistan army was reported to have suffered heavy losses in Hajira and Battal sectors in retaliatory shelling and firing by the Indian troops, reports received here said.
However, exact losses on Pakistan side couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
At about 4.45 pm, Pakistan army started raining mortars and bullets from automatic weapons in most parts of Krishna Ghati sector and Balnoi area in Mendhar sector of Poonch district. The Indian side retaliated very effectively leading to heavy exchanges that lasted about two hours.
Reports said that Pakistan army is reported to have suffered heavy losses in Hajira and Battal sectors in retaliatory shelling by the Indian troops.
Intermittent exchange of shelling and firing continued till late tonight.
There was no report of any casualties or damage on the Indian side in Pakistan shelling and firing though some mortar shells fell close to houses of the people.
Locals who were working in the fields and other places rushed towards their houses and bunkers as soon as intense Pakistan shelling started, reports said, adding otherwise there would have been civilian casualties.
A Defence spokesman said: “Pakistan violated ceasefire in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district at 4.45 pm. Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing of small arms and shelling with mortars along LoC in Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district”.
He added that the Indian Army retaliated befittingly.
Pakistan army has been regularly violating ceasefire on the Line of Control in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri prompting the Indian side to retaliate effectively. Pakistan army has suffered heavy casualties and infrastructural losses in retaliatory shelling by the Indian army.
Meanwhile, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Rising Start Corps, also known as 9 Corps, Lt Gen J S Naik today visited forward areas of the Tiger Division in Jammu to review operational preparedness of the troops.
The Corps Commander called upon the troops to be ever vigilant towards external threats faced by the country.
He also complimented the troops for their excellent performance against all odds.
The GOC was briefed by Major General Sharad Kapur, General Officer Commanding Tiger Division on operational readiness of the Division as well as current security scenario in Jammu.