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Three die in Indian shelling along LoC

May 24, 2002

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MUZAFFARABAD, May 23: Three more civilians were killed and at least nine injured in overnight Indian shelling in different sectors of Azad Kashmir on Wednesday. Indian troops resumed shelling in some areas on Thursday afternoon but immediately there were no reports of any casualties, officials said.

According to details, Rehmat Jan, 60, widow of Mohammad Shafi, was killed and a girl, Laiba, was injured in Hajira sector in the southern Poonch district on late Wednesday. Two men were killed and three wounded in this sector on Wednesday, after heavy shelling began in the area at 6:30pm and continued past midnight.

Poonch deputy commissioner Liaqat Hussain said the Indian troops were firing shells that were igniting fire. Five shops and a hotel were gutted and two houses were damaged in Hajira sector in overnight shelling, he said.

In district Kotli, Rashid, 22, son of Taj was killed in Mohra Dharoti village of Nakyal sector and in district Bhimbher, nine-year old Azhar Mahmood, son of Manzoor Hussain, was killed and three other members of the family — mother Ms Saghir, 30; sisters Salma, 3, and Komal, 2, — were injured. Five others, Siraj Bibi, 50; Manaj Bibi, 25 and son Kamran, 3; Sarwar Begum and Gul Mohammad, 75, were injured. All the casualties took place at about 11pm in Bandala Pihana village in Samahni sector of district Bhimbher.

On Thursday, heavy shelling resumed in the afternoon in Hajira and Abbaspur sectors in district Poonch, but no casualty had been reported from there till the filing of this report. AJK PM Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan was also in Poonch on Thursday on a three-day tour.

An ISPR statement, giving the details of the overnight casualties, said on Thursday that Pakistan army had returned fire and inflicted losses on the enemy.

Meanwhile, an official told that this correspondent from Bhimbher that the (AJK) government had released additional funds, to the tune of Rs2 million, to the deputy commissioner Bhimbher for payment as compensation to the victims of Indian shelling.

He said in the recent past, Rs8 million had been distributed among the displaced persons in district Bhimbher alone. Thousands of people had fled from the close proximity of the LoC to safer areas in Bhimbher in January this year, when the tensions between the two sides had suddenly heightened in the wake of a suicide attack on Indian parliament.

SIALKOT: Two villagers were killed and six villagers including two women were critically injured by intensified Indian mortar shelling on border villages in Sialkot Working boundary’s Chaprar and Chhumb Joriyaan (Gujrat) sectors, on Thursday, Our Correspondent adds from Sialkot.

According to the officials sources, the villagers Ghulam Asghar, Mohammad Anwar, Babar Hussain, Maqbool Hussain and Farzana Javaid in Chaprar Sector and Nazia Bibi, Mohammad Aslam and Ehsan in Chhumb Joriyaan (Gujrat) sector, were sitting in the courtyards of their homes, when, some Indian heavy mortar shells hit them, killing Ghulam Asghar and Mohammad Anwar on the spot and injuring seriously the others.

The injured were admitted to Sialkot CMH in critical condition. Four heavy Indian mortar shells fell into the empty building of Government Girls High School Merajkey, but, they could didn’t explode, which, were, later, defused by the bomb disposal squad.

One mosque in border village “Nandpur” (Chaprar sector) and more than 26 houses were also badly damaged by stepped up mortar shelling on border villages in Sialkot working boundary’s Chhumb Joriyaan (Gujrat), Bajwat, Chaprar, Harpal, Charwa, Sucheetgarh, Jammu, Akhnoor, Saamba, Zafarwal and Shakargarh-Narowal sectors.