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Indo-Pak troops exchange fire on LoC in Poonch.

The Pakistan army violated ceasefire for the third consecutive day Thursday, shelling forward posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district inviting a strong retaliation from Indian forces, officials said.

The year 2018 witnessed the highest number of ceasefire violations – 2,936 – by Pakistan troops in the last 15 years along the Indo-Pak border.”The Pakistani army resorted to firing and shelling on forward posts along the LoC in Poonch sector Thursday morning,” officials said, adding there were no casualties or injuries on the Indian side.

Indian troops guarding the border retaliated strongly, he said.On Wednesday as well, Pakistani troops had fired on and shelled the Kalal forward area in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district twice, they said.

The continuous shelling and firing on villages has set in a fear psychosis among the border dwellers. With the latest incident, Pakistani troops resorted to firing and shelling along the LoC in Poonch seven of first 10 days of the new year.

The Pakistani army fired on forward posts along the LoC Poonch district on Tuesday as well.Despite repeated calls, made during Indo-Pak flag meetings, for restraint and adherence to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquillity, the Indo-Pak border areas witnessed shelling and firing.

The chief of northern commander, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, had Monday visited forward areas along the LoC and reviewed security situation in Jammu and Rajouri districts, officials said.Accompanied by White Knight corps commander Lt Gen Paramjit Singh, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh visited forward posts of Rajouri and Akhnoor sectors to review the operational preparedness and the prevailing security situation, they said.

Army officer injured

Meanwhile, an army major and a border security force man were injured in the firing on LoC in Tarkundi forward area on Thursday.

The site where the incident happened falls in Rajouri and Poonch districts.Sources said they were injured in the firing from Pakistani side.”The incident happened near a forward post of LoC located ahead of the barbed wire fence,” sources said.

They said the duo received bullet injuries and were evacuated from the spot and taken to army medical centre on LoC. “Later they were airlifted to higher hospital for advanced treatment,” sources said, adding that both the injured were out of danger.

Alert sounded in Balakote

Forces guarding the Line of Control in Balakote forward areas have been put on high alert after an army major and a border security force head constable were injured in the firing from Pakistan side.Sources said all the border guarding forces have been put on alert after the incident.  Besides, searches have also been launched in some areas for area sensitization.

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