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Nine more die in border shelling

June 04, 2002

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SIALKOT, June 3: Three more villagers died in heavy Indian artillery and mortar shelling on the villages along the Working Boundary, and air-raid sirens were sounded and a blackout was observed in Narowal and AJK capital Muzaffarabad on Sunday night.

Official sources said the Indian security forces had targeted the Sukhiyaal and Jarwal villages, killing Mohammad Siddique, Imran and Maqbool.

They said that 10 other villagers were seriously injured in the Indian shelling in Bajwat and Charwa sectors. The injured were identified as Atta Mohammad, Imran, Lal Raza, Zahid, Mohammad Hussain, Mohammad Alam, Naseemi, Riaz Ahmad, Mohammad Siddique and Ms Anwar.

They said the Chenab Rangers retaliated, killing five Indian armymen and destroying seven bunkers and posts of Garh Kaali and New Kahna.

The blackout was observed in all the border villages of Narowal district. The appeal for blackout was made officially through mosque loud-speakers.

A full-dress rehearsal of civil defence department would be held on Wednesday at Sialkot and Narowal.

The Indian security forces on Monday fired more than 600 heavy artillery and mortar shells on many border villages.

MUZAFFARABAD: The power was shut down at 11pm in Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Kotli and Bhimbher and was restored at 5:15am, raising fears of air raids by India.

The blackout without warning, residents said, was causing inconvenience to them in the hot and humid weather. The intermediate students, whose exams are being conducted these days, are the worst sufferers.

Officials told Dawn that the blackout was not merely a civil defence drill, but there really existed a serious threat of Indian attack.