Five civilians injured in Indian shelling
By Tariq Naqash
MUZAFFARABAD: Five civilians, including a woman, were critically injured when Indian troops resorted to indiscriminate shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) in two dif ferent areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Saturday, of ficials said.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Tania Bibi, 20, was injured in Gujrakh village of Baghsar sector in the southern Bhimber district, due to India`s unprovoked firing.
Pakistani troops responded effectively, it added in a statement issued in the evening.
At about 7am, the Indian army started shelling in the Leepa Valley,100km southeast of Muzaffarabad, for the second consecutive day, which lasted more than two hours.
`Indian troops used heavy calibre weapons, indiscriminately targeting civilian populations in Bijildhar, Battlian and Tillawari villages without any provocation, said Imran Shaheen, Deputy Commissioner of Hattian Bala, of which the Leepa Valley is a subdivision.
As a result, he said, Shaukat Abbasi, 35, was injured in Battlian village while Nasir Hussain, 22, Munir Ahmed, 25 and Zaheer Ahmed, 23, were injured in Bijildhar village.
Rizwan Awan, a local journalist, told Dawn that Mr Hussain was scheduled to get married on Saturday but landed in a health facility because of the savagery of Indian troops.The shelling was so intense that it crippled daily life in the valley, he said, adding that casualties could have been higher had many vulnerable civilians not taken shelter in bunkers and trenches. Mr Imran said the shelling had left many houses severely damaged.
These casualties were also confirmed by the ISPR in its statement.
The Indian troops deliberately targeted the civilian population, leaving four innocent civilians critically wounded in Leepa sector, the ISPR said, adding that the Pakistan Army had effectively responded by targeting Indian posts.
On Friday, Indian troops had also resorted to heavy shelling in the Leepa Valley, but fortunately no casualties had occurred then, Mr Imran said.