- Pakistani forces targeted civilian areas along LoC with heavy guns
- Eighth consecutive day of ceasefire violation by Pakistani forces
- 4 securitymen were killed in Rajouri on Friday, civilian was hurt in Uri
Hours after Pakistan handed over captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to India, a woman and her two young children were killed in heavy overnight shelling by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district. The victims have been identified as Rubana Kosar, 24, and her five-year-old son Fazan and nine-month-old daughter Shabnam.
Another person was severely injured in the firing.
Pakistani forces targeted civilian areas with heavy guns including the Howitzer 105 mm and mortar bombs, said the police, adding that the Indian forces retaliated effectively.
Pakistani shells hit several houses in Salotri village near the Line of Control. Earlier on Friday, a woman was injured in cross-border firing in Mankote area of Poonch. Apart from Mankote and Salotri, Pakistani forces also targeted villages in Krishnaghati and Balakote sectors. Intermittent firing has been going on since the last eight days said the Jammu and Kashmir police.
The district authorities have asked schools within five kilometres along the Line of Control, in Poonch and Rajouri, to close down temporarily and ordered villagers to stay indoors.
On Thursday, a civilian was injured in Pakistani firing in Uri, said officials and yesterday four securitymen were killed in Rajouri.
In the last one week, there have been as many as 60 ceasefire violations in the forward areas of Poonch, Rajouri, Jammu and Baramulla districts, said police sources. Senior army personnel - Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, White Knight Corps Commander, Lt Gen Paramjit Singh reviewed the situation in the forward posts of Rajouri sector.
Ceasefire violations escalated manifold in last one year. 2018 witnessed 2,936 violations by Pakistani troops - the highest number in the last 15 years.
Freed from Pakistan's custody, Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was received at the Attari-Wagah border at about 9.20 pm last night. The IAF pilot was captured by Pakistan army on February 27, after an air combat between the air forces of the two countries, a day after India conducted counter-terror operations, targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training camp in Pakistan's Balakot.