Several civilian areas targeted
JAMMU, Oct 15: A woman was killed and another injured when Pakistan army resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on civilian locations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district this afternoon, leading to fresh wave of panic among the border dwellers.
Pakistan army started heavy mortar shelling and firing on the LoC at Shahpur, Kasba, Kerni and surrounding areas in Poonch district directly targeting civilian locations in Poonch district this afternoon. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchanges that continued for about three hours.
SSP Poonch Romesh Angral told the Excelsior that a woman was killed and another injured in Pakistan shelling and firing as several mortar shells exploded in civilian areas.
The woman killed in Pakistan shelling has been identified as Shahima Akhtar , 25, wife of Maqsood Ahmad, a resident of village Noonabandi while the injured woman was Naseem Akhter wife of Manzoor Hussain Shah R/o Upper Kasba, Ward No. 2.
Injured has been admitted in the District Hospital, Poonch.
Reports said mortar shells landed in the village in which some houses and cattle sheds sustained damage. Some cattle were also hit by the bullets and splinters of mortar shells but their fate was unknown as the teams were unable to reach shelling hit areas in view of continued shelling and firing from Pakistan side.
There were reports that Pakistan side has also suffered extensive damage in retaliatory shelling and firing by the Indian side. However, exact damages on Pakistan side couldn’t be ascertained immediately.
Earlier, a defence spokesperson said the Pakistan army violated the ceasefire by resorting to small-arms firing and mortar shelling in the Qasba and Kirni sectors of Poonch district.
The Indian Army retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani guns, but the casualties suffered by the other side were not known immediately, he said.
A police official said the firing intensified as the day passed and spread to the nearby Shahpur sector, causing panic among the border residents.
Most of the people stayed indoors, the official said, adding that Akhtar was hit by splinters after a mortar shell landed near her.
Several houses suffered damages in the cross-border shelling, he said.
A heavy exchange of fire was going on when the last reports were received, the official added.
The death of the woman raised the number of fatalities in Pakistani firing along the LoC in the past four days to three. Earlier, two Army jawans were martyred in two separate incidents of ceasefire violation in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district and Uri sector in Baramulla district on Friday and Sunday respectively.
Pakistan army has been regularly resorting to ceasefire violations along the Line of Control in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri since August 5 when the Central Government had scrapped special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Pakistan army has suffered heavy losses, both in terms of casualties and infrastructural damages, in retaliatory action by the Indian troops.