No Let Up In Shelling On LoC

19 August 2015
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: Pakistan Army continued with heavy mortar shelling and firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote, parts of Mendhar and Kirni sectors in Poonch district since last night but there were no casualties on the Indian side as people confined themselves inside the houses and other safer areas. Official sources said after lull of over 14 hours from 11 pm last night to 1 pm today, Pakistan army resumed heavy mortar shelling and firing in Balakote and parts of Mendhar sectors at around 1.10 pm. Pakistan army used 120 mm, 81 mm and 60 mm mortars apart from Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) targeting all forward Army posts and civilian areas. Few people, who had come out of their houses this morning in Balakote sector and other shelling hit villages of Mendhar this morning following lull in the firing since 11 pm last night, rushed back to houses and other safer areas. Indian troops retaliated effectively giving matching response to Pakistan army. Heavy exchanges continued till this evening after which intermittent exchange of shelling and firing continued till late tonight. Two mules were killed after a mortar shell exploded in front of them at village Sandot in Balakote. The owner had opened the mules for grazing after firing stopped this morning but couldn't bring them back as Pakistan suddenly started heavy shelling around 1 pm. At Kirni in Poonch sector, Pakistan army violated ceasefire resorting to shelling and firing for half an hour from 10 pm last night. Indian Army retaliated silencing the Pakistani guns. This is for the past almost 10 days now that Balakote sector has been witnessing intense mortar shelling and firing from Pakistan confining people to their houses and safer areas, where some of them had moved in. 'The intervening night of August 18 and 19 was the most peaceful in past about 10 days. All other nights had witnessed heavy shelling and firing,' sources said. The International Border (IB) in Jammu sector also remained peaceful last night as well as during the day today. On the intervening night of August 16-17, Pakistani troops had resorted to ceasefire violations in Sabzian and Mandi sectors of Poonch district and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs and Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs). On August 16, a woman was killed and five persons were injured as Pakistani troops fired 120 mm and 82 mm mortars bombs, HMGs and RPGs on border posts and civilian areas in Poonch and Rajouri districts. There have been repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the over 110 kilometers long borderline in Poonch, Sabzian, Balakote, Hamirpur, Mandi sectors in Poonch district and Manjakote sector in Rajouri district between August 15 and 16. On Independence Day, five civilians, including a Sarpanch were killed and five others injured in heavy firing and mortar bomb shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts and civilian areas. Last month, there were 19 ceasefire violations in which four persons, including three jawans, were killed and 14 others injured.