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Saturday, 8 July 2017

3 civilians martyred in shelling by Indian troops across LoC

3 civilians martyred  in shelling by Indian troops across LoC 


  As the India-held Kashmir braced for stepped-up repression on Saturday on the occasion of first death anniversary of famed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, Indian troops resorted to heavy shelling in different areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir from across the Line of Control (LoC), officials said, with at least three civilians killed and six others injured in the firing.

However, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said two people including a girl were killed due to "unprovoked firing" by Indian forces in Chirikot and Satwal sectors. It said three others were injured in the firing.

"Pakistan Army troops effectively responded to Indian unprovoked firing," said the ISPR statement.

“There has been heavy firing and shelling by Indian troops in different parts of Abbaspur and Hajira sectors since 5:30am in the morning,” said Raja Tahir Mumtaz, the deputy commissioner of district Poonch where these two sectors fall in.

He said Mohammad Sharif, a 75-year-old resident of Bhaira village near Tetrinote crossing point in Hajira sector, lost his life after a mortar shell landed on his mud-house, destroying it completely.

Meanwhile, a 26-year-old married woman, Faiza Saleem, was killed and two young girls — Adiba, 22, and Mahnoor, 17 — were injured in Satwal village of Abbaspur sector. They belonged to same family, Mumtaz said.

Another woman, Kulsoom, 35, was killed and her 14-year-old son Zahid was injured in Dhakki Chafar village of Abbaspur sector, he added.

“Initially, Zahid was injured and when Kulsoom rushed to rescue him, she too fell victim to the shelling and died on the spot,” the deputy commissioner said.

Two teenaged boys, Rizwan Hanif, 16, and Faizan Ali, 14, were injured in Batol and Chaatra villages of the same sector, he added.

“These are the initial reports, but given the magnitude of shelling, I am afraid the casualties may rise,” the deputy commissioner said.

In Kotli district, a 22-year-old girl, Aniba Jamshed, was critically injured in Indian firing in Lanjot village of Nakyal sector at about 6:30am.

"A bullet fired by the Indian troops hit her in the head, rendering her critically wounded," a police official told Dawn from Nakyal police station, adding that she was rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital Kotli.

However, according to the official, “there was peace elsewhere in the sector” that has suffered heavy losses in the past in cross-border shelling.

The heavily militarised LoC that splits the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir between Pakistan and India has been extremely tense for quite some time, and as a result civilian casualties occur frequently.

The latest casualties have pushed the number of those killed in AJK in Indian shelling during the ongoing year to 16 and those injured to over 100, according to officials at the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).


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