Cross-LoC bus service suspended as exchange of fire continues in J-K’s Poonch

The Indian troop was hit by 82 mm mortar shells fired by the Pakistan Army in second incident of ‘unprovoked’ ceasefire violation in the last three days.

Published: 13th March 2017 04:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2017 07:31 PM   |  A+A-

An Army patrol near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. | File Photo

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: For the second consecutive day on Monday, Pakistani troops breached border ceasefire and fired from automatic weapons and resorted to mortar shelling on Indian army posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in border district of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir, prompting authorities to suspend cross-LoC bus services and close some schools close to the LoC.

Defence spokesman in Jammu, Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said Pakistani troops violated border ceasefire along LoC in Poonch sector early this morning and targeted Indian army posts.

He said at around 06.40 am, the Pakistani troops without any provocation fired on army posts in Poonch sector from automatic weapons.

“They also fired 82 mm mortar shells at army posts and civilian areas along the LoC,” Mehta said adding the army men gave befitting response.

Both sides exchanged gunfire and mortar shells for more than three hours.

After today’s firing and mortar shelling by the Pakistani troops, authorities suspended cross-LoC bus service between Poonch and Rawalakote and closed some schools close to the LoC.

Custodian Trade Facilitation Centre, Poonch, Tanveer Ahmad told Express that for the second consecutive day that Pakistani troops targeted Trade Felicitation Centre (TFC) Chakan da Bagh in Poonch.

He said some shells hit the main building of TFC today, causing damage to it. “Some mortar shells had also landed near the TFC yesterday”.

Tanveer said the TFC Chakanda Bagh was never targeted and it was for the first time that shells fired by Pakistani troops had landed close to it.

He said due to heavy shelling and firing from Pakistani troops, the cross-LoC bus service between Poonch and Rawalakote was suspended today.

He said if firing and shelling from Pakistani troops continues, then the bus service and cross-LoC trade may be suspended tomorrow also.

A government official said the schools close to LoC in Poonch district were closed today as a precautionary measure after heavy firing and shelling by the Pakistani troops.

“We will assess the situation tomorrow before deciding to open the schools,” he said.

It was for the second consecutive day that Pakistani troops breached the border ceasefire in Poonch and targeted army posts and civilian areas.

On Sunday also, Pakistani troops had violated the border ceasefire and resorted to firing from automatic weapons and mortar shelling in Poonch district.

An Army soldier Deepak Jagannath Ghadge was killed in Pakistani soldiers firing in Poonch sector on March 9.

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