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Two die as Indians shell AJK areas

May 28, 2002

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MUZAFFARABAD, May 27: Heavy shelling by Indian forces continued on several villages of Azad Kashmir on Sunday and Monday killing two civilians and injuring at least nine others.

About 25 mortar and artillery shells landed in the town of Abbaspur, a town of around 15,000 residents some five kms from the Line of Control.

The town came under direct fire for the first time after the 1971 war, an AJK official said.

The unprovoked Indian shelling on Bhimbher district, about 25kms from the LOC, began early on Sunday causing injuries to a man and a woman in Dab village of Samahni sector. Two other villagers sustained injuries in Thub and Nali villages.

Hajira and Abbaspur of Poonch district came under fire at about 7:20pm, officials said adding that splinters of a shell, that landed near a government rest house in the heart of Abbaspur town, pierced the body of Mohammed Aslam killing him instantly. Another man, Mushtaq Sakhi Mohammed, sustained fatal injuries in Bokra Mandhol village near Hajira sector.

Shelling on the nearby Jhawara village of the same sector injured one person. The town of Sehra received more than 25 shells but reports of casualties or damage were yet to come from the town.

The main bazaar and a nursery in Neelam Valley also came under India shelling without causing any casualty on Sunday.

Heavy shelling resumed on Monday in which four people were injured in Samahni sector. They were identified as Abdul Haq, Noreen, Ms Nasim Akhtar and Ms Tazeem Akhtar.

When contacted, an official told this correspondent, that the Indian shelling caused partial damage to a bridge on River Jhelum near Tatta Pani (Kotli). However, the bridge linking Kotli and Poonch was intact, he added.