Seven civilians injured in Pak shelling on LoC. A day after New Delhi said it desired better relations with Islamabad, seven civilians were injured on Wednesday in intense shelling by the Pakistan Army on civilian areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district. Police said the Pakistanis targeted civilian areas, including 18 villages near the Line of Control (LoC) in Mankote and Balakote areas in Poonch district and Manjakote area in Rajouri district.“Three labourers and a woman were injured in Mankote,” a police officer said. “Three more labourers were injured in Pakistani shelling in Balakote. All the injured persons were shifted to hospital for treatment.” The Pakistan Army resorted to ‘unprovoked shelling and indiscriminate firing’ in Poonch and Rajouri districts from 7.30 am, the officer said. They used mortars, automatics and small arms.Some cattle were killed. Three private vehicles and an electric transformer were damaged in the shelling, Indian officials said. Indian forces ‘strongly and effectively’ retaliated, leading to fighting that continued till noon, the police said. Wednesday’s border shelling came a day after Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that New Delhi wanted cordial and peaceful relations with Islamabad.He said India had taken many initiatives to ensure that both Islamabad and New Delhi co-exist in an atmosphere of peace and mutual trust. “We expect reciprocity to our repeated overtures of friendship and goodwill to Pakistan,” he said at Hussainiwala in Punjab.
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