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2 Pakistanis injured in trans-LoC firing

August 16, 2006

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MUZAFFARABAD, Aug 15: Indian troops resorted to machinegun fire from across the Line of Control in what Pakistani officials termed a clear violation of ceasefire and injured two brothers in a border village of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

The fire was opened from across the Rangur Nullah near Taroti village of Abbaspur sector in the southern district Poonch at about 1:30 pm, Superintendent Police Zahoor Gillani told Dawn. He identified the victims as Shaukat, 24, and Shoaib, 18, sons of Mohammad Sadiq.

ISPR official Major Farooq Nasir Pirzada said that the victims were extracting sand from a water channel some 400 yards inside the AJK territory when they were hit by machinegun bullets. They were admitted to the Combined Military Hospital, Rawalakot.

Major Pirzada said sometimes both sides resort to ‘speculative fire’ within their controlled territories but Tuesday’s incident was the ‘first clear violation of ceasefire’.

“They targeted the boys without any provocation,” he said.

Several protest demonstrations were held in different parts of the AJK with participants holding black flags and banners inscribed with slogans condemning India for denying people of Jammu and Kashmir right to self determination.

Meanwhile, AJK Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan has condemned the ceasefire violation and urged the international community to take its notice.

However, he expressed the hope that “good sense will prevail on other side and there will not be any further escalation”.

“Unfortunately, while we talk of increasing the frequency of bus service between the divided parts of Kashmir, India is resorting to ceasefire violations,” he said, adding that the international community should also intervene to save the situation from getting worse.

AFP adds: ISPR chief Major General Shaukat Sultan told AFP that it was unprovoked firing and Pakistan would protest with the Indian authorities and the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan.”