Woman among two killed in ‘unprovoked’ Indian shelling across LoC

UN appeals India, Pakistan to exercise restraint as tensions mount in Kashmir

MUZAFFARABAD: A young boy and a woman were killed while another woman was wounded in two different areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Sunday amid “unprovoked shelling” by Indian troops from across the restive Line of Control (LoC), local media reported.
The casualties occurred in Maal Gujran and Sehra villages in Khuiratta and Hajira subdivisions of Kotli and Poonch districts, respectively, where Indian troops resorted to shelling from 10am onwards, officials said.
In Hajira, Indian troops started shelling in Battal sector at about 10:45am “without any provocation, catching the residents off guard”, said Javed Iqbal, media reported while quoting a local police official.
A mortar shell exploded in the courtyard of a house, killing a woman on the spot and critically injuring her daughter in law, reports added. Media reported that continued shelling has kept people of the area indoors.
Rubia Kanwal, Pooch district disaster management officer (DDMO), identified the deceased as 45-year-old Nasreen Begum, wife of Chaudhry Wazir Hussain, and the injured woman as 24-year-old Sonia Nadeem.
While condemning Indian shelling vehemently, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said he was greatly saddened by the loss of yet another innocent civilian life in the area.
“Targeting the unarmed and innocent civilians along the LoC reflects the height of cowardliness on the part of the Indian army,” he said.
“The Indian government is gravely mistaken in believing that such dastardly acts can force Kashmiris to change their stance on India’s illegal occupation of their motherland,” he added.
The AJK premier also called upon the international community to take serious stock of the situation and play its due role in addressing the root cause of tensions between India and Pakistan.
Though the heavily militarized LoC has witnessed frequent ceasefire violations for a long time now, tensions along the border skyrocketed after an attack on an Indian army convoy in the Pulwama area of India-occupied Kashmir in February this year.
According to officials, the latest casualties have pushed the death toll in ceasefire violations by the Indian Army in the current year to 16, including six females, while the number of injured civilians has gone up to 82, including 33 females.


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