'Cross-border shelling continues in LoC areas'

Intense cross-border shelling rattled Nowshera, Suderbani and Mendhar KG areas along the Line of Control in Jammu province since last evening, officials said on Wednesday.

An official source said that firing started in Krishna Ghati area in Mendhar sub-division last evening and continued until 9pm.

Heavy mortar shelling triggered panic in the area, he said.

In Sunderbani, cross-border firing and shelling started at 10.30pm Tuesday and continued until 5am Wednesday, the source said.

Both sides exchanged heavy gunfire, with Madahdev and Mainka areas worst-hit, he said.

In third such incident in Nowshera area, firing started at around 10.30am Wednesday.

“Intense firing and shelling between the two sides started in Kalal, Baba Khori and Deeing areas in Kalal (Nowshera) and continued for more than five hours,” the source said.

Besides use of small arms and mortar shelling, both sides fired at each other with long-range high explosive artillery shells, triggering panic in civilian areas where some of these shells landed—barely three kilometers inside the Line of Control, according to official sources and locals.

“We spent another tough day as highly explosive artillery shells exploded near our houses, shaking the entire area. It seemed as if a very powerful earthquake took place,” said residents of Kalal.

A Jammu-based army spokesman, lieutenant colonel Devinder Anand said in a statement that Pakistan “continued its nefarious designs and initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation”.

“In Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors, Pakistani army resorted to heavy shelling alongwith artillery and firing of small arms along LoC on Wednesday morning”, he said.

The Indian army is retaliating strongly and effectively, Anand said.

Meanwhile, armies of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire across the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

Reports said the exchange of fire started early morning in Mankote area.