MUZAFFARABAD: Six people, including two children, were injured in different villages of Azad Jammu and Kashmir due to unprovoked Indian shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday, officials said.

Mohammad Shah Nawaz, 25, and Hassan, 9, were injured, respectively, in Simti Majhan and Tarkundi villages of Nakyal sector in Kotli district after being hit by splinters from mortar shells, Nakyal Assistant Commissioner Waleed Anwar said. They were taken to a local health facility.

Saima, 10, was injured in Junoobi Grid village of Tatta Pani sector and Nagina Aqsad, 36, in Chattar village of Khuiratta sector in Kotli district, said a police official. They were shifted to the Kotli District Headquarters Hospital.

In Poonch district, 18-year-old Mohammad Nazeer fell victim to the Indian shelling when he was riding his motorbike through Dhar Bazaar of Battal sector, said Poonch Deputy Commissioner Raja Tahir Mumtaz. In the same sector, Saba Azad, 24, was injured while doing household chores.

Mr Mumtaz said the injured had been shifted to the DHQ Hospital of neighbouring Kotli district because it was dangerous to transport them to Rawalakot — the district headquarters of Poonch — amid unrelenting shelling.

In a brief statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations said the Indian army had initiated unprovoked firing along the LoC in different sectors, targeting civilian populations.

“Pakistan Army troops responded effectively to Indian ceasefire violations and targeted those posts which [had] initiated unprovoked firing,” the military’s media affairs wing said. It claimed that there had been reports of “substantial damage” to the Indian army.

The heavily militarised LoC has been witnessing ceasefire violations in a serious breach of an agreement signed by the two countries in November 2003, resulting in frequent civilian casualties.

On Feb 5, two people were killed and four wounded in Poonch and Kotli districts in Indian shelling.

According to the disaster management authority, seven civilians have been killed and 41 injured so far this year in Indian shelling from across the LoC.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2018

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