JAMMU, Sept 10: Pakistan army last night resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing targeting civilian areas in Mendhar, Balakote, Mankote and Balnoi along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district causing damage to about dozen houses and killing five cattle.
Reports said Pakistan army started heavy mortar shelling and firing at Basooni, Malikpur, Upper Darana, Chajla, Padri, Dabraj, Mankote, Balnoi and Mendhar town in Poonch district at 11.30 pm last night targeting mainly civilian locations in the forward villages prompting very effective and strong retaliation from the Indian troops.
A mortar shell fell on back side of ‘Nari Niketan Home’ in Mendhar town but exploded harmlessly.
At least a dozen houses were damaged in mortar shelling last night but there was no report of any casualties on the Indian side. Pakistan army was reported to have suffered heavy damages in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops.
Sources said several mortar shells fired by the Pakistan army landed close to the houses, causing damage to them but fortunately the people survived. Pakistan army used long range mortar shells in targeting civilian population which was evident from the fact that some of the shells fell close to Mendhar town.
Five cattle perished in Pakistan shelling as cattle sheds were hit by mortar shells and damaged.
Panic gripped the border dwellers as heavy shelling continued till 3.30 am, reports said, adding the people spent sleepless nights and came out of their houses late in the morning after finding that shelling and firing from Pakistan side had stopped completely.
Officials of civil and police administration visited the villages affected by Pakistan shelling and firing this morning and assessed the damage caused to houses and cattle sheds and loss of cattle.
On Saturday, Pakistan violated ceasefire by resorting to unprovoked firing and shelling in Krishna Ghati and Poonch sectors. Indian troops retaliated befittingly and the exchange of fire between the two sides continued throughout the day but there was no report of any casualty or major damage on the Indian side.
On Sunday, Pakistan had resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors of Rajouri district.
On September 1, an Army personnel was martyred when Pakistani army targeted forward posts and villages in Shahpur-Kerni sector, raising the death toll in ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri since August 5 when special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir were scrapped, to five including four soldiers and a civilian.
In Indian retaliation, at least 17 Pakistan army personnel have been killed and many others injured. Pakistan army has also suffered heavy infrastructural damages in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops.