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SIALKOT: Two people were killed and three others injured in heavy mortar shelling by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on villages in Bajwat, Harpal and Chaprar sectors along the Sialkot Working Boundary on Tuesday.

BSF soldiers fired mortar shells on villagers along the border during the day rather than at night, their usual practice, senior officials of the Punjab Rangers said.

Some shells exploded in the courtyard of farmer Ashiq Hussain’s house in Punwal village, Chaprar sector, killing his eldest son Waqas, 22. Ashiq, 55, his wife Bushra Bibi, 50, and their son Waqar were injured.

Rescue 1122 officials took the injured to the Sialkot Combined Military Hospital, where doctors said that the condition of Ashiq Hussain and Bushra Bibi was critical.

The Punjab Rangers officials told Dawn that Imran Ali, 30, of a village in Chaprar, was killed when a heavy mortar shell fired by Indian BSF hit his house on Tuesday evening.

Sialkot DCO Dr Asif Tufail told Dawn that public and private schools remained closed for the second consecutive day in the area because of the shelling.

The shelling began at around 12 noon in Punwal, Punwal Chak, Punwal Khurd, Nandpur, Rangpur Jattan, Salehpur, Malaaney, Thathi, Jhumiy­aan and other nearby villages in the Chaprar sector; Joiyaan, Anula, Harpal, Salaankey, Wahga, Khanor, Sangiyaal and Umeraanwali in the Harpal sector; and Phookaliyaan, Kaahli­yaan , Patoli and other villages in the Bajwat sector. Punjab Rangers retaliated and shelling from both sides continued till late in the evening.

On Monday, a child and a 63-year-old man were killed in mortar shelling by BSF soldiers in Chaprar village.

Tariq Naqash adds from Muzaffarabad: A civilian was injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir as Indian troops shelled an area from across the Line of Control (LoC).

“Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing on LoC and Working Boundary in Bhimber and Chaprar sectors, respectively, today,” the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a brief statement.

“Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian firing,” it added.

Bhimber Deputy Commissioner Mirza Arshad told Dawn that 52-year-old schoolteacher Sikandar was injured in Danna Baroh village after a mortar splinter hit him in the jaw.

He was taken to a hospital in Kharian.

According to the deputy commissioner, the shelling continued till evening.

FO lodges protest

The Foreign Office summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh and lodged a strong protest against earlier ceasefire violations along the Working Boundary by Indian border forces.

“A strong protest was lodged against the unprovoked ceasefire violations on Oct 23-24 by the Indian occupation forces at the Working Boundary in the Phuklian and Chaprar sectors,” said the Foreign Office in a statement.

Separately, the ISPR said that a strong protest was also lodged with the United Nations monitoring group UNMOGIP over the unprovoked firing by Indian troops from across the Working Boundary.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2016