Pak resorts to shelling in Poonch; 50 school kids trapped, later rescued
Jammu, Sep 14: With no let up in ceasefire violations, Pakistan on Saturday resorted to heavy fire and shot mortars on Indian posts and forward villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote, Mankote and Mendhar sectors of Poonch district, prompting India to retaliate.
“This morning around 9 am Pakistan Army opened fire and shot mortars in Balakote and then spread its arc of fire in adjoining Mankote and Mendhar sectors around 10 am. The exchanges are still on, though intermittent now,” said a police officer.
Pakistan did not even spare villagers and targeted forward villages in Balakote sector.
The police officer informed that around 50 students, who had come to attend school in Balakote, were trapped in the shelling. “They were shifted to safety and when shelling subsided were evacuated by the police and civil administration. They have been sent home safely,” he added.
Similar reports of small children getting trapped in their schools also poured in from other areas of Balakote sector. They too were evacuated safely and sent home.
Deputy magistrate of Poonch, Rahul Yadav said there was no report of any casualty in the Pakistani firing and the border residents have been advised to take necessary precautionary measures for their safety.
“Pakistan army started off from Balakote sector and then spread its arc of fire to Mendhar and Mankote sectors. Around 40 to 50 villages in a stretch of 50 km were affected by their shelling,” said an intelligence official from Mendhar.