LoC Flares Up Again, 5 Civilians Killed

POONCH:Three civilians, including a Sarpanch and a lecturer, were killed and 25 others were injured as Pakistan resorted to heavy firing and shelling along Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote sector of Poonch on Saturday, officials said.

The officials said that the Pakistan troops resorted to shelling in various villages of the Balakote sector including Panjni, Dabbi, Balakote Forward and Basoni since 10 in the morning. The shelling also took place in Saujian sector.

“The firing continued throughout the day with high intensity leading to death of three persons and injuries to 25 others,” they said.

The deceasedcivilians have been identified as Sarpanch of Balakote, Karamat Hussain Khan (48), Lecturer Abdul Rehman, (45) Mohammad Sheeraz (17) Muhammad Amin (18) and 10 year old Mohin Khan all from from Basoni village.

Sources said that the Sarpanch and the lecturer were killed after their car was hit with a shell. They were returning home after participating in Independence Day function at Pine Wood School, Hamerpore.Basoni is situated some 3 kilometres from the LOC.

Out of 25, two critically injured persons were air lifted to Army Hospital Rajouri.

Due to shelling, many houses sustained damage.

Defence spokesperson Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said Pakistan started firing in the Hamirpur (Balakote area) at about 11 am.

“Pakistan fired  120mm and 82 mm mortar shells. There is still  heavy firing on.  An MI 17 army chopper was flown in to airlift the critically injured,” Mehta said.

Reports suggested that many people are likely to be shifted from the forward areas along the LoC.

Meanwhile, Pakistan media reported that one person was killed and 4 others were injured in Indian shelling. 

According to details, heavy firing and shelling from Indian side of the LoC in Kanthi Gala village, Nakial sector in Kotli, left Mohammad Shafi dead and three others injured, including Imran, Shahpal and Mistri Rasheed.

Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the Pakistan Army responded to the indiscriminate firing and shelling by the Indian forces in a befitting manner.

“There is shelling from across the border in the whole Nakial sector since morning. An elderly man, Mohammed Shafi, has been killed and three others have been wounded in the shelling in Dabsi Narr village,” Adnan Khurshid, a senior administration official in Kotli, was quoted by AFP.

One of the injured was in a serious condition after  sustaining a head injury, he added.

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