While five Indian soldiers were injured in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan as mortar shells and missiles were fired across the Line of Control (LoC) at several places in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday (26 February), Pakistan soldiers used civilians to protect themselves against Indian retaliation, reports Hindustan Times (HT).
“The Indian Army retaliated for effect and our focused fire resulted in severe destruction to 05 posts and number of casualties to the Pakistani army. Pakistani troops were also seen firing mortars and missiles from civilian houses, using villagers as human shields. However, the Indian Army targeted the Pakistani posts away from civilian localities,” Lt Col Devender Anand said to HT.
Since 6:30 PM yesterday (26 February), Pakistan used heavy calibre weapons in 12 to 15 places the LoC. Akhnoor, Pallanwala in Jammu district, Nowshera, Laam, Jhangar in Rajouri and Mankote, Mendhar, KG sector, Khari Karmara, Balakote and Poonch in Poonch bored the brunt of the attack.
District administrations in the state have shut down government and private schools within five km radius of LoC. The situation in the Uri region remains tense.
This ceasefire violation was carried out by Pakistan in response to the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike in Balakot that took place in the wee hours of 26 February (2019). In the raid, hundreds of terrorists belonging to Pakistan-sponsored Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were killed.
Locals from Poonch and Rajouri districts said that Pakistani army was directly targeting them using 120 mm mortars, a battalion level flat trajectory weapon.
“Intense shelling is on and we have been compelled to flee our houses,” a resident of Mankote Mohammed Rashid was quoted as saying.
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