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SIALKOT: Two women were killed and six people injured in mortar shelling by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on border villages in Sucheet­garh, Cha­prar, Harpal, Bajra Garhi, Charwah and Zafarwal-Sha­kargarh sectors of the Sialkot Working Boundary on Thursday.

According to an official of the Punjab Rangers, the shelling left Parveen, of Rurki Awanaa village (Har­pal sector), and Ayesha, of Gandiyaal-Kingra village (Charwah sector), dead.

The injured were identified as Mohammad Asghar, Rasheed Ahmed, Naseem, Natasha, Saima and Sameena.

Rescue 1122 ambulances took the injured to the Combined Military Hospital in Sialkot.

There were reports of people moving to safe places along with their cattle.

According to the Inter- Services Public Relations, the BSF targeted civilians in border villages.

The district administration set up three emergency relief centres to help and shelter the victims.

Assistant Commissioner Shahid Abbas told Dawn by telephone that the centres had been set up in Pindi Bhago-Charwah village, Govt Girls High School, Daallowali-Sucheetgarh, and BHU of Raja Harpal, Sialkot.

He said the terrified people were moving to safe places, adding that the Punjab Rangers had asked the people living in border villages to stay away from the firing range along the Sialkot Working Boundary.

Ceasefire violations

Indian Deputy High Commissioner J. P. Singh was summoned to the For­eign Office for receiving protest over latest ceasefire violations by Indian troops along the Working Boundary in Sialkot in which two women lost their lives.

“Despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations,” the FO spokesman said.

He said India had in the first 18 days of 2018 committed more than 100 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the martyrdom of three civilians and four troops.

Mr Singh was summoned to the FO also a few days ago over martyrdom of four troops, who were hit by Indian mortars while repairing lines of communication.

India seems to be following last year’s pattern of ceasefire violations when it committed 1,900 breaches, leaving 87 people dead.

The spokesman said For­eign Secretary Tehmina Jan­jua had at a meeting with Alice Wells asked the US to advise restraint to India and urge it to stop its escalation tactics.

Baqir Sajjad Syed also contributed to this report from Islamabad

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2018