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Pakistan Violates Ceasefire In Jammu And Kashmir's Poonch, India Retaliates

A day ahead of Independence Day.

14/08/2016 9:18 AM IST | Updated 14/08/2016 9:42 AM IST
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A file photo os Indian army soldiers patrolling near the India-Pakistan border fencing at the Line of Control (LOC).

A day ahead of Independence Day, Pakistan violated the ceasefire in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday evening along the Line of Control in Shahpu Kandi area of the border Pòonch district. The firing reportedly continued into Saturday morning.

According to ANI reports, the Indian forces are currently retaliating to the firing.

The defence ministry has confirmed it. Spokesperson Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said that the ceasefire violation came during the wee hours, with Pakistan resorting to small arms fire.

However, no casualties or damage on either side have been reported so far.

The defence ministry spokesperson said that the Pakistan Army resorted to heavy mortar, small arm and automatic weapon fire in Poonch sector since 3 AM.

"Our troops are responding appropriately and no casualties or damage to our troops was reported till the report last came in. The firing was still going on," the spokesman added.

The attack comes hours after a grenade attack on Amarnath Yathra pilgrims in Poonch, where almost 15 people were injured.

On Saturday, 15 people, including many Buddha Amarnath pilgrims, were injured in Poonch town in a grenade attack.

Three of the injured were stated to be serious.

"It was a light intensity crude bomb explosion that took place in a Tata Sumo parked 60 metres from a temple. A few policemen and NGO workers are among the injured," Deputy inspector general Rajouri-Poonch range Johny Williams said.

Police have taken into custody two people including a Tata Sumo driver for questioning.

The ceasefire violation comes after over four months as the last such incident took place on April 10, this year in Poonch sector.

Earlier Pakistan had violated ceasefire on September 18, 2015 in Balakote sector of Poonch district.

Last year, 16 civilians were killed and 71 others injured in 405 incidents of cross-border firing by Pakistan, the officer said.

While 253 incidents of ceasefire violations took place along the International Border (IB), 152 incidents were reported along the LoC, he said.

Around 8,000 people were temporarily affected due to the ceasefire violations and had to be shifted to safer locations.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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