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Young woman hurt in Indian firing

August 03, 2002

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MUZAFFARABAD, Aug 2: A woman was injured and many houses were damaged in Neelum valley in Indian shelling which continued on the fifth consecutive day on Friday, officials said.

The woman, Nasima Bibi (22), was injured in Falakan village in the lower belt of the valley, in northeast of Muzaffarabad, after being hit by splinters of a mortar shell, Superintendent of Police Raja Ghulam Sarwar told Dawn.

At least five houses were damaged in Salkhala and Shahkot villages, also in the lower belt, he added.

Shelling, Sarwar said, had also begun in Leepa valley in southeast of the Azad Kashmir capital and Samahni sector in the southernmost Bhimbher district at 6pm but immediately there were no reports on losses from those areas.

Earlier, military sources told that Pakistani troops effectively responded to India’s unprovoked shelling on civilian populations in Neelum valley.

However, Pakistan army, they said, was only targeting the military positions of the enemy.

At least seven people have died and more than 15 injured in Neelum valley since Monday, when shelling began in the area after a considerable lull.

INDIAN CLAIM: A girl was killed and three other people injured on Friday when Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged intense fire across the Line of Control(LoC), adds AFP.

Hafiza Banu was killed in an exchange of mortar and artillery fire at the Machil sector, Kupwara district, police said.

“Friday’s shelling is the most intense in recent months in Kupwara district,” an Indian police spokesman said.

Three other Muslim civilians were injured in the morning shelling.

Officials said the shelling sparked panic in villages along the LoC in Kupwara. Fresh exchanges were also reported from the Uri sector of neighbouring Baramulla district.

On Thursday, Indian police reported that one civilian was killed and six others injured in exchanges along the LoC.