Army officer among 2 injured in Pakistan firing along LoC

An Army officer and a porter were injured Sunday as Pakistan army resorted to heavy mortar shelling and small arms firing on forward posts and villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

While the colonel-rank officer was injured in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district, the 25-year-old porter suffered splinter injuries when a mortar shell exploded near him in Keri sector of Rajouri district, they said.

Both the injured were evacuated to a hospital and their condition was stated to be “stable”, the officials said.

Earlier, a defence spokesman said Pakistan violated ceasefire by resorting to unprovoked shelling and firing from across the border in the two sectors around 11 a.m., prompting the Indian Army to give a befitting response.

The officials said the shelling was intense in both the sectors, causing panic among the people who were asked to stay indoors to avoid any casualty.

 The cross-border firing stopped around 1.15 p.m. In Krishna Ghati sector, only to resume again around 3.25 p.m. Till 5.15 p.m., they said.

Army porter Mohammad Mahroof, a resident of Challas village, suffered splinter injuries when a mortar shell exploded near him in Keri sector, the officials said, adding he was given immediate medical aid and was later evacuated to an Army hospital.

 Two residential houses were also damaged, while a few cattle also perished in the Pakistani shelling which was still continuing intermittently, the officials said.

They said the casualties suffered by Pakistan in the retaliatory action was not known immediately.

Ending over a fortnight-long lull, Pakistan on Thursday targeted Shahpur and Kirni sectors of Poonch followed by firing in Qasba sector in the same district the next day. Ten people, including four soldiers, have been killed and over 50 people injured in Rajouri and Poonch districts since India’s February 26 air strike on a JeM  camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in response to the Pulwama terror strike that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.