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Woman schoolteacher killed in Indian firing

By Tariq Naqash 2020-05-11
MUZAFFARABAD: A private schoolteacher was killed in Poonch district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) during heavy Indian shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday evening, raising the number of such deaths in the ongoing year to seven, ofhcials said on Sunday.

Rashid Naeem Khan, deputy inspector generalof (DIG) police in Poonch, told Dawn by telephone that Indian troops shelled Abbaspur sector, using light and heavy arms and targeting civilian population.

One of the shells landed in the kitchen of a house in Polas Kakota village at about 6.45pm where Shazia Bibi, 22, wife of Usman Hafeez, was preparing meals for Iftar, he said.

`Splinters from the shell pierced through her body, leaving her dead on the spot,` he added.

Married hardly two years ago, the victim was a teacher in a local private primary school and her unexpected death plunged the whole area and its surroundings into gloom, said Saira Yousuf Chughtai, an Abbaspur-based journalist.

The victim was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon in Polas Kakota village, she said.

According to Syed Shahid Mohyiddin Qadri, AJK`s secretary of civil defence and disaster management, the latest cas-ualty had pushed the civilian death toll in the ongoing year to seven while the number of injured people had swelled to 76.

Apart from that, he said, some 22 houses and 5 shops had been destroyed and 198 houses partially damaged by the enemy shelling, which also left 76 cattle head dead.

In a statement, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider condemned Indian shelling at civilian population and reiterated his call to the United Nations to take stock of the situation without further loss of time.