Indian Pakistani troops exchange fire in Poonch, Kathua areas


 Jammu: An Army porter was injured along the Line of Control in Poonch and several houses were damaged in border areas of Kathua districts after Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged heavy fire on Sunday.

The officials said that Mohammad Shoukat, 26, a local youth working as a porter with the Indian Army, was injured when the Pakistan army opened fire along the LoC in Shahpur sector of Poonch around 2.45 pm.

The Indian Army also retaliated and the firing between the two sides lasted for a brief period, he said, adding the injured was shifted to Poonch district hospital and his condition was stated to be stable .

The major ceasefire violation by Pakistani Rangers was reported from Manyari in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district where the border residents were forced to take shelter inside underground bunkers for the entire night, the officials said.

The firing and mortar shelling by Pakistan started around 9.10 pm on Saturday and continued till 4 am, resulting in damage to four residential houses and injuries to a cow, the officials said.

They said the Border Security Force retaliated effectively to silence Pakistani guns. The casualties suffered by Pakistan was not known immediately, they added.

Kathua District Development Commissioner Om Parkash Bhagat along with Senior Superintendent of Police Shailendra Kumar Mishra and senior BSF officers visited the affected villages to take stock of the situation.

We visited the affected villagers to know their well-being and convey a message to them that we stand with them, said Bhagat while assuring villagers, whose houses got damaged in the Pakistani shelling, of financial help.

The officials also promised damages to farmers whose cows and other cattle were injured.

Maya Devi, a local resident, said they had a sleepless night in the underground bunkers due to intense shelling by Pakistan.

A shell also hit a bunker, causing damage to a television set but luckily all the present including children escaped unhurt, she said.

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