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Indian firing kills two teenagers in A JK

By Tariq Naqash 2017-06-13
MUZAFFARABAD: Two teenagers were killed and three othersinjuredin Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) when Indian troops resorted to unprovoked shelling with heavy weapons from across the Line of Control (LoC) early on Monday morning, of ficials said.

The casualdes occurred in Tatta Pani (Hot Spring) sector of southern Kotli district where shelling began after 5.45am, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Chaudhry Zulgarnain Sarfraz told Dawn.

`Indian troops started shelling without any provocation, targeting civilian population, with mortars, he said.

Asad Ali, 19, died on the spot after being hit by the splinters of a mortar shellin Bhabra village while Waqar Younus, 18, who was critically injured in Hillan village succumbed to his wounds at the DHQ Hospital Kotli, the SSP said.

The injured included Mohammad Shahbaz, 30, of Dhanah village, and ShumailaKhurshid,35, and Hafsa Shabbir, 14, of Chakrali village.

The Pakistan Army`s media af f airs wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), also confirmed the casualties.

`The Pakistan Army responded effectively to the firing on civilians and there are reports of damage to Indian posts and casualties,` said the ISPR in a statement.

For quite some time, the heavily militarised LoC is regularly witnessing exchange of ñringin disregard to a ceasefire agreement signed in November 2003.

Ofñcials say that since January India has committed more than 400 ceasefire violations along the LoC, surpassing last year`s total of 382.

After Monday`s casualties, the death toll in Indian shelling since January has risen to 11 while over 65 have sustained injuries.

FO lodges protest with India In Islamabad, the Foreign Of fice summoned India`s Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh to lodge a protest against and condemn `unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian forces` on June 10 and 12.

According to the Foreign Of fice, Director General South Asia and Saarc Dr Mohammad Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Agreement, investigate current and previous incidents of ceaseñre violations, and instruct Indianforces torespectthe ceasefire agreement in letter and in spirit and maintain peace along the LoC.

`The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed condemnable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,` the FO said.