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Four killed, 8 hurt in Indian shelling

June 08, 2002

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MUZAFFARABAD, June 7: At least four people, including two children, were killed and eight others were wounded on Friday as Indian troops resumed shelling from across the Line of Control, officials said here.

They said the shelling was reported from three districts of Poonch, Kotli and Bhimbher, and in many sectors it was intense.

In Hajira sector of district Poonch, Mohammad Naseem, 35, was killed and Usma Nasim, 4, and Anwar Begum were injured in Mandhol village.

Residents described the shelling in Hajira sector villages, including Sehar, Sehra, Madarpur, Tetrinot, Battal and Dhar Kakuta, as heaviest in recent days.

“Our village is receiving a volley of shells. The shops are closed and people are panicky,” Shahzad, a PCO owner told Dawn by telephone while the shelling was going on in the area.

Officials in Kotli said the Indian forces, using long-range weapons, fired shells near Teenda Kutya village at 8am. The area is said to be barely three kilometres outside the city.

When contacted, a housewife in Thalair Colony of Kotli told this correspondent that women and children got panicked after hearing the gunfire in the city for the first time.

Some people made announcements through loudspeakers in the mosques at their own asking residents to take shelter in safer places. However, officials said the situation was calm and the life in the city normal.

The Tatta Pani sector in district Kotli was worst hit, receiving artillery and mortar shells.

One of the shells landed on a house in Sawad village, killing Mohammad Shakil, 12, and injuring his father Mohammad Sharif and sister, Ruby, 13. Sharif’s nephew, Jhalla, 10, was also killed and another relation, Ms Nazma, 32, was wounded.

Shelling in Nakyal sector in district Kotli killed Nawabzada, 27, son of Sultan (a resident of Dhir, NWFP) and injuring two women and a man, identified as Ms Tasweer, Wilayat Begum and Shaukat.

In the southernmost Bhimbher district, intermittent shelling was reported from Samahni sector, but no losses occurred.

Thousands of people have fled from forward positions in Samahni and its adjoining Chamb sector in Bhimbher district, and taken shelter in safer areas.

SOLDIERS KILLED: Eight civilian and an unspecified number of soldiers were killed as Indian and Pakistani troops traded heavy fire in the disputed Kashmir on Friday, officials said, as a US envoy took his peace mission to New Delhi, adds Reuters from Jammu and Muzaffarabad.