At least 217 students and 15 teachers trapped in three schools close to the LoC during a deadly rain of mortar shells from Pakistan were rescued on Tuesday in a daring operation conducted by police and the district administration.

One of the school buildings in the Nowshera sector took direct hits but there were no casualties.

“Five bulletproof vehicles and three buses were deputed for the operation,” the Rajouri district commissioner, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, said.

An official spokesperson said the students were trapped for over six hours. “In Sair, 55 students and teachers had a narrow escape as the school building took direct hits,” Choudhary said, lauding the courage of the students and teachers.

Following Tuesday’s ceasefire violation by Pakistan, all schools in Nowshera and Manjakote sectors were closed indefinitely.