A woman lost her life and another sustained injuries as Indian troops on Wednesday targeted civilian population in two different areas of Azad Kashmir from across the line of control (LoC), officials said.
Neelum Deputy Commissioner Raja Mahmood Shahid told Dawn that “indiscriminate” shelling by Indian troops began at about 8:50am in the morning and continued till 2pm intermittently, during which the troops targeted civilian population in district headquarters Athmuqam and its surrounding hamlets.
A mortar shell landed in the courtyard of a house in Bugna village on the outskirts of the district headquarters, killing Sajida Bibi, a 35-year-old mother of six, he said.
“Splinters from the shell pierced through her neck, causing huge loss of blood that led to her on the spot death,” the deputy commissioner said after visiting the aggrieved family. Shahid handed over a cheque of Rs0.3 million on behalf of the AJK government to the heirs of the deceased woman.
According to the deputy commissioner, Pakistani forces gave a “befitting response to the unprovoked shelling by Indian forces.”
It’s for the second time that Indian troops have directly targeted civilian population of Athmuqam in less than two weeks.
In the previous incident on December 31, a woman was killed and nine others, including two constables, were wounded in India’s ruthless shelling of the town.
The deputy commissioner briefed that the residents of highly vulnerable areas had been asked to move to safer places while educational institutions had been closed for the time being.
An emergency cell has also been set up for any emergency or information by the district disaster management authority, he added.
Elsewhere, a 35-years old woman, identified as Parveen Bibi, was injured after being hit by shrapnel from a mortar shell in Nali village of Barnala, said Bhimber Deputy Commissioner Sardar Khalid, of which Barnala is one of three subdivisions.
The woman was admitted to the military dressing centre in Bhimber where her condition was stated to be out of danger, he added.
Khalid further informed that Indian troops also resorted to small arms fire in Baghsar sector but no casualties were reported from there.