JAMMU, Aug 15 (IANS): Four civilians were killed and 23 injured in shelling by Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on India's Independence Day on Saturday, officials said.
Three civilians were killed when their car was hit by a shell fired from the Pakistan side in Mendhar sector of Poonch district, Jammu divisional commissioner Pawan Kotwal told IANS.
Kotwal said many civilians gathered at the site where the car was hit, when they were hit by a second shell fired from Pakistan, injuring more than 20 of them.
Helicopters were rushed to the area to shift the injured civilians to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu city, where all emergency staff was alerted, he said.
An injured person who was taken to a hospital in Rajouri succumbed to his injuries, an official said.
The Pakistan Army began shelling on Saturday morning in civilian areas in Mendhar, Saujiyan and Mandi sectors of the LoC in Poonch district.
Military spokesman Colonel Manish Mehta told IANS that the Indian Army "retaliated effectively" at all these places.
Pakistan "resorted to unprovoked shelling and firing" at Indian positions at 7.30 a.m. in Poonch district, the spokesman said.
"They (Pakistan) used 82 mm mortars and automatics to target our positions in Mandi and Saujiyan sectors," he said.
The spokesman said Pakistan had violated the ceasefire during the night too.
"They violated the ceasefire from midnight to 3 a.m. also. After that, the shelling and firing stopped till 7.30 a.m."