JAMMU:The Pakistani troops breached border ceasefire and resorted to heavy mortar shelling on Indian posts and civilian areas along Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Independence Day killing five civilians and injuring 12.
Defence spokesperson based in Jammu, Lt Col Manish Mehta told Express over phone that Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar shelling on Indian army positions and civilian areas in Balakote sector along LoC in Poonch district from this afternoon.
“Some of the mortar shells landed in civilian areas close to the LoC,” he said adding army men also effectively returned the fire from similar caliber weapons. Sources said some civilians, who were trying to move to a safer area in a vehicle in view of continuous shelling by Pakistani troops, were caught in mortar shelling by Pakistani troops at Basoni village in Balakote sector “One of the mortar shell hit the vehicle, causing the death of three persons on the spot and injuring 10 others,” they said.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Pawan Kotwal, confirmed the death of three persons in the Pakistani troops shelling.
The deceased were identified as 48-year-old Sarpanch Karamat, Abdul Rehman Master, 45, 17-year-old Mohammad Sheeraz and 12-year-old Moin Khan, son of Mohammad Kafeel. Moin died in a hospital.
Kotwal said the injured were rushed to nearby hospital, from where a few critically injured were evacuated to Jammu hospital for specialized treatment. He said administration is keeping a close watch on the situation and if the need is felt then the civilian population from the area will be evacuated.
Sources said Pakistani troops also fired on the people, who had assembled in the area and were shifting the injured to the hospital. “The firing and shelling by Pakistani troops was going on when reports last poured in,” they said.
Mehta said Pakistani troops had also opened unprovoked fire in Mandi, Hamirpur and Sabzian sectors along LoC in Poonch district around midnight.
“The firing continued till 3 am. They resumed the firing again at 7.30 am,” he said adding the Pakistani troops targeted Indian army posts and civilian areas.