4-year-old boy killed near LoC from Indian shelling, officials say

April 12, 2020

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Four civilians, including one woman and three men, have been injured. — AFP/File
Four civilians, including one woman and three men, have been injured. — AFP/File

A four-year-old boy was killed and four other civilians were injured by Indian shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday, officials said.

Deputy Commissioner Neelum Raja Mahmood Shahid told Dawn that the four-year-old victim, Hussain Mir, was killed in Bantil village when the Indian forces started shelling earlier today.

"The innocent boy was hit by shrapnel from a mortar shell in the first bout of shelling while he was standing in the courtyard of their house. He died on the spot," Shahid said.

Bantil is part of revenue village Tehjiyan and five kilometres away from Dudhnial. Both Tehjiyan and Dudhnial had suffered damages from Indian shelling on Friday as well.

In Rakhchikri sector, two men, aged 26 years and 70 years respectively, were injured from Indian shelling, police official Raja Khalid Kiani told Dawn.

Meanwhile, in Poonch district, a 14-year-old boy was critically injured after shelling started in the area at about 6:30pm, police official Abdul Wudood said.

Early in the morning, a 50-year-old woman was injured in Gaahi Barhu village of Samahni sector in the southernmost Bhimber district, according to Senior Superintendent of Police Bhimber Mir Abid.

The Nakyal sector of Kotli district was also being “indiscriminately” shelled by Indian troops, residents said, adding that there were no reports about casualties.

“Indian army is targeting Mohra Dharoti, Balakot, Nara Lanjot and other adjoining villages. As I speak to you, I can hear the thunder of mortars and artillery,” Abdul Qayyum Tahir, a Nakyal-based journalist told Dawn by telephone.

“We will be able to ascertain losses only when the shelling stops,” he added.

According to Syed Shahid Mohyiddin Qadri, Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s secretary for civil defence and disaster management, the number of people killed by Indian shelling in the year 2020 has increased to three while 54 civilians have been injured, out of whom 38 are men and 16 women.

Taking to Twitter, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider wrote: “Unprovoked, indiscriminate and unrelenting ceasefire violations by Indian Army were not only causing civilian casualties and damages but also disturbing our efforts to contain Covid-19 in areas along the restive ceasefire line [LoC].

“Will the [United Nations Secretary General] Antonio Guterres take serious note of this beastliness?”

Earlier today, the Inter-Services Public Relations had said that two civilians were injured from "unprovoked ceasefire violation" by Indian forces during the night.

On Friday, six civilians were injured after Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing in various sectors near the LoC, the ISPR had said.