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2 die, 4 wounded in Indian shelling

April 07, 2003

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MUZAFFARABAD, April 6: A man and a woman died and four people were wounded in Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday in Indian shelling from across the Line of Control.

The casualties occurred in Abbaspur sector in the Poonch district where the Indian shelling with mortar guns and medium artillery began without provocation at about 4:30pm, officials said.

The heavy shelling targeted the civilian population indiscriminately, superintendent of Poonch police, Chaudhry Sabir, told Dawn by telephone from Rawalakot.

A mortar shell landed on a house in Dharay village, killing Mohammad Shafi, 40, son of Qutab Deen. His wife, Rasheeda Begum, was critically injured and shifted to the Combined Military Hospital, Rawalakot, the SP said.

Sarwi Begum, widow of Lal Hussain, whose legs were blown up by the shelling in Abbaspur town, died on way to the CMH, the SP said.

Mohammad Azeem, Mohammad Zafar and Salim Akhtar were injured and admitted to Abbaspur Tehsil headquarters hospital.

A vehicle was gutted in the bus stand of the city, the official said.

A military official said troops had effectively responded to Indian shelling.

In Neelum valley, Indian troops heavily shelled several villages in the lower belt, but no casualties were reported.

#Reuters adds:# Rawalakot Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Abdul Qayyum said six shops and four houses were destroyed in Abbaspur. “The town has never received such heavy shelling in the past,” he said.