Five killed, 2 injured in cross border firing in Poonch's Balakote sector

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Pakistani troops targeted border villages in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district with mortar bombs today, killing five members of a family including three minor brothers, officials said.

Ahir said Pakistan has been asked to abide by its commitment not to allow any territory under its control to be used against India in any manner, to respect the sanctity of the International Boundary and Line of Control and to adhere to the 2003 understanding on ceasefire along the International Boundary and the LoC to maintain peace and tranquillity.

Police sources said the shells hit the house of Mohammad Ramzan.

Heavy shelling from the Pakistan side killed villagers in Devta. Speaking to ANI, Vaid said, "Due to shelling from across in Balakote sector of Poonch, 5 civilians died and 2 are injured who are being shifted to the hospital". Pakistani troops had resorted to firing of small arms, automatics and mortars. In the brazen attack, 5 civilians have been killed and 2 people have been injured. "My deepest condolences to their family", she said.

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Skirmishes along the LoC, the de facto frontier, and the worldwide border have seen sharp rise in last one year, as ties have steadily gone downhill following terror strikes and unrest in the Kashmir Valley. Army troops retaliated strongly and effectively to silence Pakistani guns.

In February, four Army personnel, including a 22-year-old Captain, were killed in Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

In 2018, Pakistan has summonned Indian diplomats in Islamabad several times, alleging ceasefire violations by Indian forces.

India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.

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