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Indian shelling kills another civilian in Azad Kashmir

Updated August 15, 2013
The photo shows an Indian soldier near the Line of Control. — File/Reuters
The photo shows an Indian soldier near the Line of Control. — File/Reuters

MUZAFFARABAD: Relentless shelling by Indian troops from across the Line of Control (LoC) left another civilian dead and his daughter wounded in a village of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday.

The Indians started firing at about 9pm on Tuesday ‘without any provocation’, initially in Nakial sector of Kotli district and later in Satwal, Battal and Tetrinote sectors in the neighbouring Poonch district, they said.

“The Indian troops used small and heavy arms, including artillery, targeting mainly the civilian population,” assistant commissioner Malik Ayub Awan told Dawn from Hajira, in Poonch district.

He said a shell landed on a hamlet in Battal sector after midnight, killing 65-year-old Sakhi Mohammad and injuring his 26-year-old daughter, Aarzoo. At least eight more houses and one shop were damaged in the area.

Mr Awan said due to shelling as well as heavy rain, electricity and telephone lines were also damaged, making it difficult for the officials to ascertain losses instantly. But electricity supply and telecom facilities were restored by the evening.

A military official told Dawn that Pakistan Army responded to the Indian shelling in a befitting manner.

“Definitely, we did respond to silence their guns. However, unlike them (Indians) we do not target civilian populations across the LoC but only military posts and installations,” said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media.