3 civilians killed in shelling by Pakistan, hours after pilot Abhinandan’s return

JAMMU AND KASHMIR: In a heavy overnight shelling by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, a woman and her two young children were killed.

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.

This came hours after Pakistan handed over captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to India. Police confirmed that Pakistani forces targeted civilian areas with heavy guns including the Howitzer 105 mm and mortar bombs.

The police further added that Pakistani shells hit several houses in Salotri village near the Line of Control and the Indian forces retaliated effectively. Pakistani forces also targeted villages in Krishnaghati and Balakote sectors.

The Jammu and Kashmir police said that the intermittent firing has been going on since the last eight days.

In last one year, ceasefire violations escalated manifold. 2018 witnessed 2,936 violations by Pakistani troops – the highest number in the last 15 years.