MUZAFFARABAD, June 19: Unprovoked firing by Indian forces from across the Line of Control on Wednesday killed a nine-year-old girl in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and injured her mother and two other civilians, officials said.

“They (Indians) started firing…at about 9:15am…without any provocation, trapping the civilians who were busy in routine household work,” Deputy Commissioner Sohail Azam told Dawn by telephone of the incident that took place at Batal sector in the southern Poonch district.

“Initially, the firing was with small arms but later it became intense as they used mortars,” he said.

Mr Azam said Maryam, 9, and her mother, Samina, were injured in Batal village and Shahbaz and Kashif were wounded in Mandhol village. The girl died on way to an army-run health facility, he added.

In reply to a question, he said Indian guns fell silent when Pakistani troops retaliated. “At the moment there is calm, but people are scared,” he added.

In January, skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops in the Batal sector left three Pakistani and two Indian soldiers dead.

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