Jammu: Expanding the arch of its targets, Pakistani troops pounded civilian areas and military positions along the International Border (IB) in Jammu district since last night besides shelling Poonch, injuring a villager.
Pakistan troops violated the ceasefire five times overnight by targeting civilian hamlets with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs along the IB and LoC in Poonch, Balakote, Hamirpur, R S Pura and Arnia sectors of Poonch and Jammu districts, drawing retaliation from the Army and BSF.
There have been 45 violations of the border ceasefire agreement of 2003 by Pakistan in August and over 240 ceasefire violations during the year so far.
"In fresh ceasefire violation, Pakistan troops resorted to shelling of 82 mm mortar bombs on forward posts along IB in Hamirpur sector in Poonch sector from 1300 hours today," Defence Spokesman said here.
Earlier, there was firing briefly in Balakote sector of LoC in Poonch district, the spokesman said, adding "We responded appropriately and effectively to the firing."
BSF spokesman said there was intermittent firing of small arms and mortar bombs by Pakistan Rangers from 2200 hours last night on five Border Out Posts (BoPs) along the IB in Arnia and R S Pura sectors in Jammu district.
"Initially, the firing was with small arms. Later on 82 mortar bombs were also fired by the Rangers. When left with no option, BSF troops retaliated the fire befittingly," the spokesman said.
"The firing and shelling continued till 0500 hours this morning. No loss of men or material has been reported so far from BSF," he said.
However, a civilian identified as 38-year-old Subhash Chander sustained a bullet injury on his foot at Sai Khurdin in Arnia sector. He is being treated at Government Sub-District Hospital in R S Pura, he said.
The repeated ceasefire violations have claimed six lives in two days from August 15, drawing strong protests from India.
Jammu-based Defence PRO Col Manish Mehta said "Pakistan troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violations in Poonch sector and Balakote overnight and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs".
"There were unprovoked violations by Pakistani army in Poonch sector using 82mm mortars from 0045 hours to 0330 hours today and the ceasefire violations which commenced in Balakot sector last evening at 1900 hours continued till midnight using 120 mm mortar bombs," Col Mehta said.
"We retaliated at both places effectively. No casualty to our troops till last reports came in," he said.
On the intervening night of August 16-17, Pakistan troops had resorted to ceasefire violations in Saujiyan and Mandi sectors of Poonch district and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs and heavy machine guns (HMGs). Pakistani troops had also shelled Balakote sector yesterday.
On August 16, a woman was killed and five persons were injured as Pakistani troops fired 120 mm and 82 mm mortars bombs, HMGs and RPGs on border posts and civilian areas in Poonch and Rajouri districts.
There have been repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the over 110 kms long borderline in Poonch, Sujiyan, Balakote, Hamirpur, Mandi sectors in Poonch district and Manjakote sector in Rajouri district between August 15 and 16.
On Independence Day, five civilians, including a sarpanch were killed and five others injured in heavy firing and mortar bomb shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts and civilian areas.
Last month, there were 19 ceasefire violations in which four persons, including three jawans, were killed and 14 others injured.