Five members of family killed in Pakistani shelling in JK's Poonch

Officials said the Pakistani army had resorted to heavy shelling around 7.45am on Sunday in the Balakote sector.

Apart from the family of five, two others were reported injured in the incident and were rushed to the hospital. Two daughters of Mohammad Ramzan, a resident of Devta Sargloon in Mendhar, Nasreen Kaunsar, 11 and Mehreen Kaunsar, 5, were injured in the shelling. Indian troops are effectively retaliating the ongoing gunfire which started around 7:45 am. "There is no Army deployment or any installation in the area", a defence spokesperson said in Jammu.

Last month, the Pakistan Foreign Office had claimed that Indian forces had committed more than 190 ceasefire violations since the start of 2018, killing 13 civilians and injuring 65 others through the use of heavy mortars and automatic weapons.

Reiterating that peace is the only forward, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said there is a need to get on right track to save people of the state from shelling on the borders.

Inspector General of Police SD Singh Jamwal told ANI, "We are assessing our situation and have sent our team to the spot".

In February, four Army personnel, including a 22-year-old Captain, were killed in Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts. The house of a civilian identified as Muhammad Ramzan Chowdhary was hit by a shell. He said the government is taking all the administrative measures to reach out to the affected population in the area.

The deceased include the house owner, a woman, a boy and a minor girl, a police officer said.

The minister expressed deep anguish over the loss of lives on the borders during cross-border firing. The injured are undergoing treatment at GMCH Jammu.

  • Latoya Cobb