MUZAFFARABAD: Three people, including a woman, were killed and eight others injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in firing by Indian troops from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Monday, officials said.

Most casualties occurred in the Nakyal sector in the southern Kotli district, which has been badly hit by Indian shelling over the past several weeks.

“Indian troops resorted to intense firing by machineguns and mortar shelling in the morning which continued till afternoon,” said Nakyal’s assistant commissioner Sardar Zeeshan Nisar.

The shelling left police constable Mohammad Imtiaz, 30, housewife Azmat Bibi, 40, and an elderly man Haji Mohammad Safri, 70, dead in Soban, Oli Panjni and Bai Dhara villages, respectively.

Mr Safri’s four-year-old grandson Mehroz and four others — Mohammad Bashir, Said Mohammad, Haji Sher Khan and ex-serviceman Bagh Hussain — were injured and hospitalised.

Mr Nisar said that though heavy shelling had halted in the afternoon, there was no let-up in small arms fire.

Ramzan Shaheen, a resident of Nakyal, told Dawn that the shelling was “indiscriminate” and Indian troops targeted civilian populations “mercilessly”.

According to him, the number of injured persons could rise, “because many victims in the most vulnerable villages of Sandhara and Tarkundi were unable to reach any health facility owing to ruthless shelling”.

“Indian troops did not let anyone come out of their homes throughout the day in the most vulnerable areas. They will evacuate their injured persons in the dead of night,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2016

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