Srinagar: Pakistan continued to provoke India as its troops violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir‘s Poonch district on Friday. Three members of a family, including a 9-month-old girl, were killed in heavy mortar shelling targeted at civilian areas in Salotri.
The Indian Army retaliated to intermittent firing by Pakistan. As per officials, mortar bombs and heavy guns, including Howitzer 105 mm, were used by the troops. Besides the casualties, a civilian is said to be injured while damage to several houses has been reported from the area. (It’s Good to be Back: IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s First Reaction on Return to India)
Those killed have been identified as 24-year-old Rubana Kosar, her 5-year-old son Fazan and 9-month-old daughter Shabnam. Kosar’s husband Mohd Yunis is said to be injured.
Friday also witnessed ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Mankote sector of Poonch in which a woman, identified as Naseem Akhtar, was injured. Besides, shelling was also reported in Krishnaghati and Balakote areas.
The incident comes amid escalating tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed on February 14 by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber. On Tuesday, India carried out ‘pre-emptive’ strikes on JeM terror camps in Pakistan.
During last one week, Pakistan has violated the ceasefire for over 60 times and has targeted over 70 civilian and forward areas along the LoC in Poonch, Rajouri, Jammu and Baramulla districts of Jammu and Kashmir, in which one woman was killed and 9 persons were injured.
In the wake of prevailing situation, authorities have ordered temporary closure of educational institutions within 5-km radius along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts, while all the border dwellers have been asked to remain inside their homes.
The Pakistani forces have been shelling areas along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts for eight consecutive days.
Earlier on Thursday, a woman was killed and a jawan was injured when Pakistani Army heavily shelled civilian areas and forward posts in six sectors along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts.
Last year, a total number of 2,936 incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan were witnessed. The number is the highest in last 15 years.