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Heavy exchange of fire overnight at LoC in Poonch

August 16, 2013 09:37 IST

Ceasefire violations by Pakistan continued as intermittent small arm fire was on through Thursday night in Balakota and Sabzian area in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The firing started at 9:30 pm and continued till the morning. There were reports of massive retaliatory fire by the Indian troops. 

Using heavy calibre guns, the Indian Army retaliated strongly after Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing with rocket and mortar shell attacks on the Line of Control posts in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch sector that injured three Army jawans and a civilian. This is the 11th ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the past five days, army officials said.

Defence Spokesman (Jammu) S N Acharya said in an official release that the Pakistan army started unprovoked firing at Indian forward posts in Mendhar sector from 06:30 am.

"Own troops retaliated immediately with heavy caliber weapons," he said.

Pakistani troops opened fire along the LoC on several Indian forward posts in Balakote belt of Poonch district, army officials said. They fired automatic weapons, rockets and mortar shells in which three jawans received minor injuries. The jawans have been shifted to hospital, the officials said.

A shell of 82-mm mortar fired by Pakistan troops fell in Sanjote forward area of Mendhar tehsil resulting in injury to Parvaiz, a civilian, who was shifted to GMC hospital in Jammu.  A rocket fired by Pakistani troops fell and exploded on a cowshed in Basonia village of Mendhar this afternoon resulting in death of a dozen cattle.

Under attack from opposition parties over the government's response on the killing of five Indian soldiers, Defence Minister A K Antony had said the armed forces have the freedom to respond appropriately to a developing situation along the LoC.

"The armed forces have the freedom to respond to a developing situation there (along the LoC) appropriately," he said, replying to questions after the launch of 37,500-tonne aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi on August 12.

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