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15 villagers killed in Indian shelling

May 28, 2002

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SIALKOT, May 27: Fifteen civilians died and more than 52 others were injured in heavy artillery and mortar shelling by Indian forces along the Sialkot working boundary late Sunday.

The deceased included five members of a family and there were a number of women and children among those injured, some of them seriously.

The villages which came under fire were Rangpur Jattan, Merajkey, Umaraanwali, Thathi Kalan, Chaprar, Joyaanwala, Kheera and Charwa Bajragarhi.

Official sources confirmed that more than 300 shells landed in the villages destroying five of them completely.

A resident of Chaprar Sucheetgarh, Master Shabir, was killed along with his mother, wife, a son and a daughter when a shell blew up his house. Other deceased were identified as Mohammed Nasir (34), Safia Bibi (36), Allah Rakhi (71), Mohammad Akmal (29), Kalsoom Bashir Ahmed (27), her minor son and daughter, Ghulam Asghar and Mohammad Anwar. One body remained unidentified till last reports came in.

The injured were admitted to the CMH, Sialkot where condition of many victims was stated to be critical. An emergency has been declared at all the government hospitals in the city.

Senior army officials, accompanied by the office bearers of the district and union councils, visited the affected areas and the hospitals on Monday.

Official sources said on Monday that the Chenab Rangers responded effectively to the Indian onslaught on Sunday night killing about 16 enemy soldiers and destroying 17 of the Indian front-line bunkers. Two Indian ammunition depots and four posts were also destroyed, they added.

The Indian forces continued shelling on the border village on Monday causing damage to two mosques and 25 houses in Chhumb Joriyaan (Gujrat), Bajwat, Bajragarhi, Chaprar, Charwa, Sucheetgarh, Jammu, Akhnoor, Saamba and Shakargarh-Narowal sectors.