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Aug 22, 2013 at 09:18pm IST

Pak troops violate ceasefire again, fire at Indian posts in Mendhar

Poonch: Pakistani forces violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) again on Thursday evening, firing at Indian posts in the Mendhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

The violation was reported around 5.35 pm amid reports of an exchange of fire in Banwat area of the Poonch sector. Several incidents of firing were reported from Poonch through the day. The Indian posts received heavy and small arms fire and retaliated.

Earlier in the day, two women were injured in indiscriminate firing by Pakistani troops in Kerni area of Poonch, drawing retaliation from the Indian troops. Shamsher, the SSP of Poonch, indentified the injured as Hassana, 12, and 32-year-old Noor Jahan.

Defence spokesperson Col R K Palta said the Pakistan Army opened fire with small and automatic weapons on forward posts in Poonch around 12.05 pm. The firing prompted the Indian troops to retaliate, leading to intermittent exchanges.

On Wednesday night, the Pakistan Army had twice fired mortar shells on Indian posts in separate sub-sectors of Poonch, Palta said.

Firing with automatic weapons and medium mortar shells on Indian posts in the Hamirpur sub-sector started around 9.30 pm on Wednesday night, he said. "Our troops retaliated effectively and the exchanges continued till 10.30 pm," he said.

Pakistani troops also fired at Indian posts in the Mendhar sub-sector of Poonch around 10.30 pm on Wednesday.

The ceasefire violations drew condemnation from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Omar asked Pakistan to stop the firing, saying people on both sides of the border were bearing the brunt and such incidents would not help improve bilateral ties.

"The best thing is, we (India and Pakistan) should accept and respect the ceasefire and ensure the safety of people living on two sides of the border," he said in Kathua, 90 km from Jammu, on Thursday.

The 225-km LoC in the Poonch-Rajouri sector has been witness to daily violations of the ceasefire since August 10, adding up to 28 incidents in August so far. There have been over 80 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops since January 2013.

(With additional information from PTI)