Two civilians killed on LoC in Jammu region

Jammu: Two civilians were killed and at least a dozen others injured on Sunday in shelling by the Pakistan army in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu region, taking the civilian toll in the last two days to seven.

Heavy exchange of shelling and firing continued between the Indian and Pakistan armies for the whole day on Sunday in at least four places -- Mandi, Balakote, Bhimber Gali and Saujiyam sectors -- along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

Defence spokesman Manish Mehta told IANS in Jammu on Sunday evening that "Pakistan army has been resorting to unprovoked shelling on the LoC using 120 mm and 82 mm mortars and automatics in Poonch and Rajouri districts".

"Two civilians were killed in Pakistan shelling today (Sunday) in Poonch while around a dozen others have been injured in Poonch and Rajouri districts," he said.

The spokesman said MI-17 helicopters were pressed into service to evacuate the injured to Jammu city for specialised treatment while others were treated in the district hospitals in Rajouri and Poonch.

"We are responding effectively. There is a lull in the firing by the Pakistan army in Bhimber Gali sector of Poonch since 5 p.m.," Mehta said.

In the last two days, seven civilians - all Muslim residents of border villages - have been killed and over 30 others injured in Pakistani shelling along the LoC.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Sunday visited Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu city and spoke to the injured and the attending doctors.

Nirmal Singh also announced Rs.5,000 for each injured person.

Meanwhile, anxiety has gripped villagers living close to the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts, who have been showing visiting journalists gaping holes made in their homes by shells fired by Pakistan army.

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