Pakistani troops Saturday violated ceasefire by targeting forward posts and villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, promoting "strong and effective retaliation" by the Indian army, a defense spokesman said. The unprovoked small arms firing and mortar shelling from across the border started in Mankote area of Mendhar sector around 10:00 AM, the spokesman said. He said Indian army retaliated strongly and effectively to silence the Pakistani guns. A police official said the exchange of fire between the two sides continued till 1230 hours but there was no report of any casualty on the Indian side in the Pakistani firing. Meanwhile, defense sources said there was no traditional exchange of sweets between the two armies at Chakan Da Bagh crossing point along the LoC in Poonch on the occasion of the Republic Day. Also Read: India calls for a cautionary approach to link climate change "No exchange of sweets at Chakan Da Bagh in view of the ongoing tense situation along the LoC,\u201d the sources said. Since the beginning of the New Year, Pakistani troops have been regularly violating the ceasefire, especially along the LoC in Jammu division. A few incidents of ceasefire violations were also witnessed along the International Border this year. On January 15, Assistant Commandant Vinay Prasad of BSF was killed when he was hit by Pakistani sniper from across the IB, while an Army porter lost his life along the LoC in Rajouri district on January 11 \u2013 the day when two army personnel including a major were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack along the LoC in Naushera sector of Rajouri. The year 2018 had witnessed the highest number of 2936 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in the last 15 years along the Indo-Pak border.