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Two killed, five injured in Indian shelling

Updated March 02, 2018

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MUZAFFARABAD: Two people were killed and five others injured in Indian shelling in different areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Thursday, local officials said.

In Nakyal sector, shelling started at about 7:30am with Indian troops firing “volleys of mortar shells on civilian populations”, said Waleed Anwar, assistant commissioner of Nakyal.

Splinters of a mortar shell hit Nazeer Hussain Mughal, 70, in Dheri village, killing him on the spot, he said.

According to him, Indian troops were targeting educational institutions where elementary board exams were being conducted since Tuesday. “Today’s paper has been cancelled in most of the vulnerable schools due to the shelling from across the divide,” he said.

Chaudhry Guftar, deputy commissioner of AJK’s Bhimber district, told Dawn that one man lost his life and two of his family members and three others were wounded in Samahni sector where shelling began in the afternoon.

In Chahi village, a shell landed on a house, killing Zafar Iqbal, 45, and injuring his wife, Farzana Bibi, 35, and son Hasnain, 15, he said.

Elsewehre in the same sector, Sajid, 55, Nazir, 65 and Iqra, 12, were injured in Nihala, Khetar and Sona Valley villages, respectively, he said.

Iqra was treated in a local health facility in Samahni, while the rest had been evacuated to District Headquarters Hospital, Bhimber, he said.

Mr Guftar said that two civilians identified as Muhammad Hanif, 40, and Muhammad Hussain, 40, were injured in the Indian shelling in Mali village of Barnala sector, late on Wednesday night.

Cross-LoC shelling also took place in Battal sector of Poonch district from 8:15am to 12:45pm on Thursday, but no casualty was reported from there.

Meanwhile, AJK’s acting president Shah Ghulam Qadir has expressed concern over ceasefire violations by Indian troops and has called upon the UN and international human rights organisations to take notice of the situation.

Speaking to a delegation of National Defence Uni-versity’s National Security & War Course faculty, he said the motive of the Indian firing was to force local population into fleeing their homes along the LoC, but Kashmiris could not be frightened by such tactics.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2018