STATE TIMES NEWS Jammu: At least seven residential buildings were damaged in heavy Pakistani shelling on Friday along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district, police said. The shelling from across the border in Shapur sector started around 1.35 pm and continued till 5.30pm, prompting a strong retaliation by the Indian Army, a police official said. He said there was no report of any casualty on the Indian side, however, a residential building belonging to a widow was damaged in Qasba village, while six others suffered partial damages in Dokri village. An army official said the Pakistani army started the ceasefire violation by resorting to unprovoked small arms firing and mortar shelling on forward posts and villages. The Indian Army gave a befitting response to silence the Pakistani guns, he said, adding the casualties suffered by Pakistan in the retaliatory action was not known immediately. Pertinently, several villages of Poonch sector along Line of Control (LoC) including Qasba, Kirni, Shahpur came under intense shelling from Pakistan side on Friday noon and shelling lasted for over five hours intermittently. “Pakistani Army is continuously firing in Keran Valley, Poonch, Uri, Krishna Ghati and Akhnoor sectors,” a ministry said. In 2019, a total 3,200 incidents of ceasefire violations from across the LoC have been reported. Since abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has increased ceasefire violations. In August, a total 307 incidents were reported, while 292 incidents occurred in September, 351 in October and 304 cases were reported in November. In December, 329 incidents have been reported which are also nearly double the 175 cases reported in the same month in 2018. The Pakistan army also resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation, targeting forward posts and villages along the Line of Control in Poonch district in Jaunary 12, 2020. The Pakistan Army also fired mortar bombs at forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district on February 9, 2020 and a villager was killed and four others were injured on February 14, 2020 when Pakistani troops again engaged in heavy mortar shelling and firing on civilian areas and forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district.
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