SRINAGAR: Two children including a girl were killed and 12 others injured in Pakistani troops firing and mortar shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.
Separately, army foiled two infiltration bids of militants along the LoC in Tangdhar and Ramgarh sectors of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district by killings five militants.
Deputy Commissioner Poonch, Tariq Ahmad Zargar told New Indian Express that Pakistani troops restored to firing and mortar shelling along the LoC in Digwar, Shahpur, Qasba, Kerni and Mandhar sectors of Poonch district early this morning.
He said a 10 -year-old boy Asrar Ahmad was killed in firing and shelling in Qasba while a 15-year-old girl Yasmeen Akhtar died of shelling in Digwar.
Zargar said 12 people including two women and four girls were also injured in the cross-LoC firing and shelling, which began at 6.30 am and continued till noon.
Four of the critically injured were referred to Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu for specialised treatment.
Some of the villages that witnessed intense Pakistani troops shelling today had been calm and peaceful till date.
“The Qasba area where the boy was killed, had not witnessed such intense shelling this year. In fact, it was the first civilian casualties in the area in cross-LoC firing this year,” Deputy Commissioner Poonch said.
He said schools in the area close to the LoC would remain closed tomorrow also as a precautionary measure.
Asked whether people living close to LoC in Poonch have been relocated, Zargar said the administration had identified places, where the people could be relocated but the border people are reluctant to leave their places.
“The population in border areas in Poonch area scattered and they are reluctant to relocate. They don’t want to leave their houses and cattle,” he said.
The DC said he again appealed people today to move to safer places.
He said they have advised people to stay indoors and don’t send their children to schools in case of cross-LoC firing and shelling.
There was surge in border ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir last month.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbboba Mufti has expressed grief and anguish over killing of two civilians during cross LoC shelling in Poonch district.
She said it was very unfortunate that the teenagers became victims of fire power when they were yet to understand the nuances of politics.
Infiltration bid foiled
Defence spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said army foiled two infiltration bids along the LoC in Rampur and Tanghdar sectors of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district today.
He said two militants were killed in Rampur sector and three more in Tanghdar sector.
Bodies of all the five militants have been recovered, Kalia said.
He said large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the possession of the slain militants.
“The search operation at both the places was going on,” the spokesman said.