Heavy shelling continues along LoC
Around 50 students who had gone to attend school in Balakote were trapped in the Pakistani shelling, the officer said.Updated: Sep 15, 2019 00:44 IST
Pakistani troops on Saturday pounded Indian posts and villages in three sectors along the Line of Control in Poonch district with heavy mortar fire, prompting Indian soldiers to retaliate in equal measure.
“This morning ,around 9 am, Pakistan army opened heavy fire and shot mortars in Balakote and then spread its arc of fire in adjoining Mankote and Mendhar sectors around 10 am. The exchanges are still on, though intermittent now,” a police officer said.
Around 50 students who had gone to attend school in Balakote were trapped in the Pakistani shelling, the officer said. “They were shifted to safety and when shelling subsided, were evacuated by the police and civil administration. They have been sent homes safely,” he added. Similar reports came in from other areas of the sector; those children, too, were evacuated to safety and sent home.
Poonch’s deputy magistrate Rahul Yadav said there had been no reports of any casualty in the Pakistani firing and border residents had been advised to take precautionary measures for safety. “Pakistan army started off from Balakote sector and then spread its arc of fire to Mendhar and Mankote sectors. Around 40 to 50 villages in a stretch of 50 km were affected by their shelling,” said an intelligence officer from Mendhar. A vehicle and cattle shed were also damaged in Balakote but there were no casualties.
On September 11, at least two Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliatory Indian firing in the Hajipur sector of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan has been attacking Indian posts and villages regularly since India on August 5 and 6 nullified the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and decided to bifurcate it into two states -- J&K and Ladakh.