NEW DELHI: Six civilians were killed and at least 15 others were injured in the continuous ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops along the border in Jammu & Kashmir's Balakot region of Poonch district.
Heavy mortar shelling is going on the area and the villagers living around the border are being vacated by the army.
The firing which was reported to have stopped after 7pm on Saturday evening, again started at 12am in the night and since then has not stopped.
An Army official said the Indian troops retaliated strongly, as the exchange of heavy gunfire continued intermittently in the night after Pakistan continued to violate ceasefire for the seventh consecutive day in Jammu region with at least four violations reported in four sectors in Poonch, about 200km from here.
The offensive on Indian positions in Jammu region came as the country celebrated the 69th Independence Day and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent his greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying promoting friendly ties between the two neighbours was in mutual interest. The national security advisers (NSA) of the two countries are also due to meet in New Delhi on August 23.
There have been 32 violations of the 2003 ceasefire in August and this is the seventh consecutive day that Pakistani troops have shelled Indian posts along the LoC in Jammu region.
Indian and Pakistani troops did not exchange sweets along the border on Independence Day.
PRO, Defence Lt Col Manish Mehta said, "Pakistani troops resorted to firing of 60 mm and 82 mm mortar shells on forward posts and civilian areas along LoC in Mandi, Hamirpur and Saujiyan sectors of Poonch from 1820 hours last evening (Friday) to 0730 on Saturday".
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