Ceasefire violation by Pakistan breaks two-day silence along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu | Pakistani troops on Monday violated ceasefire at two places by targeting forward posts and villages along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, breaking a two-day lull in cross-border skirmishes, officials said.

The firing and shelling by Pakistan in Akhnoor and Poonch sectors in Jammu region, however, caused no casualty, they said.

A defence spokesperson said Pakistan initiated the unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing mortar shells and small arms on forwarding posts and villages around 3.00 am in Akhnoor sector of Jammu district.

The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively and the exchange of firing between the two sides continued till 6.30 am, he said.

The spokesperson said Pakistan also initiated unprovoked shelling with mortars and firing of small arms in Poonch sector around 5.30 pm, prompting strong and effective retaliation by the Indian Army.

Barring a two-hour cross-border firing in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district Saturday afternoon, the guns had fallen silent all along the LoC since Friday night.

The lull in the cross-border firing had come as a major relief to the border residents, especially in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri, where Pakistan had violated ceasefire for over 50 times, targeting 80 villages which left four persons, including three members of a family dead, and several others injured.

The ceasefire violation by Pakistan witnessed a spurt after India’s air strike at Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on February 26 in a “preemptive” action following the terrorist group’s February 14 suicide bombing in Pulwama in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

Amid heightened tensions, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat visited Jammu-based White Knight Corps on Saturday and reviewed the operational preparedness of the forces in the Corps Zone in view of the current situation along the LoC and the International Border.

Gen Rawat visited various forward locations of Samba and Ratnuchak along the IB in Jammu region again on Sunday.

He expressed complete confidence in Indian Army capabilities to thwart any nefarious design of enemies of the country and handle any situation.

The Army chief also praised the high state of morale and preparedness of the troops.

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