SIALKOT: Rescue officials shift the injured to the Combined Military Hospital after shelling by India’s Border Security Force along the Working Boundary on Sunday.—PPI
SIALKOT: Rescue officials shift the injured to the Combined Military Hospital after shelling by India’s Border Security Force along the Working Boundary on Sunday.—PPI

SIALKOT: An elderly woman and a minor girl were killed and 24 others, including four children and eight women, injured in mortar shelling by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on villages along the Working Boundary on Sunday.

Local administration officials said the firing started in the small hours of Sunday morning and continued throughout the day.

Fazalaan Bibi, 60, wife of Rehmat Ali, died when mortar shells hit her dwelling in Kachi Maand village.

Nargis Fatima, the five-year-old daughter of Shahid Iqbal, also a resident Kachi Maand, was rushed to the Sialkot CMH with head injuries where she died.

BSF shelling left 24 people injured in Ghanglora, Kachi Maand, Pull Bajwaan, Sohnti Dera, Deeyawara, Pandoliyaan, Deewanpur and Kakraan .

CEO of Sialkot District Health Authority Dr Latif Sahi said the injured were taken to the Sialkot Com­bined Military Hospital (CMH) in critical condition by the personnel of Rescue 1122 after initial treatment at the rural health center of Kahliyaan.

They said dozens of buffaloes, cows and goats were also killed and injured in the shelling.

AFP adds: Meanwhile, Indian officials claimed that two of their troops were killed and seven civilians injured in firing by Pakistani forces at Aknoor.

“The injured soldiers were immediately evacuated to a military hospital where they later succumbed (to their injuries),” border force spokesman Manoj Yadav told AFP from Jammu, the winter capital of the disputed region.

Pakistan authorities did not immediately comment on India’s allegations or whether any damage was sustained on their side.

The two sides had pledged to respect the conditions laid out in a 2003 ceasefire “in letter and spirit” following some of the highest levels of violence in the region since the pact was signed.

Both sides blame each other for violating the 15-year ceasefire.

Dozens have been killed in clashes in recent months along the Line of Control and Working Boundary, leaving residents terrified.

India has about 500,000 soldiers in the part of Kashmir it occupies, where Kashmiri groups are fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2018

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