|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Mar 21: The Pakistan army resorted to mortar shelling and small arms firing across LoC in Balakote sector of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir late last night, the police officials said today.
In its unprovoked shelling, it targeted forward posts and civilian areas along LoC in Balakote sector, following which the Indian Army hit back effectively with the exchanges continuing intermittently till dawn today, they said.
The Pakistani troops had targeted border villages of the district with mortar bombs on March 18, killing five members of a family including three minor brothers.
Two sisters were critically injured in the shelling and had to be airlifted to Jammu for treatment.
The civilian casualties occurred in forward village of Devta Sargloon when a shell hit the mud house of Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, a police official said.
The deceased were Ramzan, 35, his wife Malika Bi, 32, their sons Abdul Rehman, 14, Mohammad Rizwan, 12 and Razaq Ramzan, 7.
His two daughters, Nasreen Kouser, 11 and Mahreen Kouser, 5, were critically injured in the incident and were airlifted to Jammu for treatment, the police official said.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on March 19 had expressed anguish over the loss of lives and stressed the need for peace along the LoC in the interest of the people of the state.
In a tweet, she had said she was anguished to hear about the loss of lives in the crossfire along the LoC. "My deepest condolences to their family," she had tweeted.