STATE TIMES NEWSJammu: A 24-year-old woman was killed on Tuesday in heavy shelling by the Pakistan Army, targeting villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district, officials said. Shameema Akhtar, a resident of Noona-Bandi, was killed in the Pakistani shelling in the Shahpur sector, Poonch District Development Commissioner Rahul Yadav said. Naseem Akhtar, wife of Manzoor Hussian was injured in Pak firing and has been shifted to a hospital. He said four buffaloes also perished in the Pakistani shelling at forward villages and posts since the morning. Earlier, a defence spokesperson said the Pakistan Army violated the ceasefire by resorting to small-arms firing and mortar shelling in the Qasba and Kirni sectors of Poonch at around 9.30 am.
The Indian Army retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani guns, but the casualties suffered by the other side were not known immediately, he said. A police official said the firing intensified as the day passed and spread to the nearby Shahpur sector, causing panic among the border residents. Most of the people stayed indoors, the official said, adding that Akhtar was hit by splinters after a mortar shell landed near her. Several houses suffered damages in the cross-border shelling, he said. A heavy exchange of fire was going on when the last reports were received, the official added. The death of the woman raised the number of fatalities in Pakistani firing along the LoC in the past four days to three. Earlier, two Army jawans were martyred in two separate incidents of ceasefire violation in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district and the Uri sector in Baramulla district on Friday and Sunday respectively.
Meanwhile, an Army jawan was martyred in a mine blast in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district, an Army official said this afternoon.
The soldier was martyred when he accidentally stepped on the mine while patrolling in Nowgam on Monday night.
Vigil has been stepped up along the border to counter any attempts of infiltration.
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