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Death toll rises to 5 in LoC firing

March 01, 2002

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MUZAFFARABAD, Feb 28: India and Pakistan briefly exchanged fire on Thursday evening across the restive Line of Control in Kashmir after observing silence earlier in the day, but no fresh casualty was reported.

Meanwhile, one more death was reported in Wednesday’s heavy shelling by Indian troops in Poonch district, taking the day’s death toll to five. The number of the injured persons had also risen from 14 to 23, officials said.

“Mohammad Asif, son of Akbar, died late Wednesday night in Mandhol village in Hajira sector, taking the death toll of the day to five,” deputy commissioner Poonch Liaqat Hussain told Dawn by telephone.

Three people were killed in Mandhol on Wednesday evening and the fourth one was killed in Nandi Nar village, when the Indian troops, using mortars, artillery and automatic weapons targeted the civilian population in Hajira and Abbaspur sectors of Poonch district. Thirteen people were injured in different villages of the two sectors, according to initial reports that poured in till Wednesday night. One civilian was injured in Neelum Valley in northeast of Muzaffarabad early Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, Liaqat Hussain said, the administration came to know that ten more people, including two women, were injured in the intense shelling that continued till midnight.

Those injured were identified as Kamran, Mohammad Waseer, Shoukat, Amir Nazir, Waseef, Syed Akbar, Ruqqaya Begum, Usman Khan and Saeeda Kousar (Kakuta village) and Khurshid (Chatra village).

Dozens of houses were completely or partially damaged in the affected villages.

Assistant commissioner Abbaspur, Ghazi Khurshid, who visited Chatra village on Thursday told this correspondent by telephone that at least 20 houses were damaged in that village alone.

He said some two dozen families from the village had also moved to safer places.