5 Civilians Killed In LoC Firing In Poonch

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Jammu—Five members of a family were Sunday killed and two others injured in cross border firing between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior police officer said.

Reports said that shelling began around 7:40 am today in Balakote sector of Mendhar.

“The Pakistan Army resorted to indiscriminate shelling in Balakote sector of the LoC. A shell fell on a house killing five members of the same family,” police said.

Director General of Police S P Vaid in a tweet said, “Due to shelling from across (LoC) in Balakote sector of Poonch, 5 civilians of a family died & 2 are injured who are being shifted to hospital”.

The civilian casualties occurred in forward village of Devta Dhar when a shell hit the house of Mohammad Ramzan, a police official said.

The deceased have been identified as Mohammad Ramzan (45), his wife Malika Bi (40) and their three sons Abdul Rehman (8th class student), Abdul Rizwan (7th class student) and Nazarat (2nd class student) ,while two of their daughters Nowreen (5th class student) and Mehreen (Ist class student) were critically injured.

 Both the injured were airlifted to Government Medical College Hospital Jammu for treatment.

The family members had just gathered to have tea together at 7:40 am when a shell hit their one-room mud house killing five of them on spot and left two minor daughters injured.

Among the sons, Rehman was 8th class topper while Rizwan topped 7th standard exams.

“The brothers were toppers of our school and the entire school is mourning their demise. There can be nothing tragic than losing two precious gems,” Mohammad Marouf Principal of the school said.

Ramzan’s brother Abdul Shakoor said that they heard the blast at around 7:40 am today and what unfold was the biggest tragedy for the family.

The slain members have been buried as the entire village mourns the demise of the innocents. The villagers urged India and Pakistan to shun the path of confrontation so that innocents are not made to suffer.

They said that it is the people of Jammu and Kashmir who suffer both humans as well as property losses.

9 injured in Indian shelling: Pak

Islamabad: At least nine people, including two minor girls, were injured in heavy shelling by Indian troops in “Azad” Jammu and Kashmir’s Nakyal sector on Sunday, AFP quoted a Pakistani official as saying.

“Indian troops started heavy mortar shelling at about 7am in the morning, targeting civilian populations in almost all villages along the Line of Control (LoC),” said Nakyal Assistant Commissioner Waleed Anwar.

“A shell exploded on the roof of the house of one Haji Aslam in Palani village, critically injuring three of his daughters,” he said. The victims were identified as Musarrat, 22, Nargis, 25, and Samra, 15.

“Elsewhere, in the same sector, 11-year-old Aleeba Majeed and 35-year-old Muhammad Zahoor Mughal were injured in Jair Merg and Dharoti Naari villages respectively,” Anwar said.

He added that at least three people were reported injured in Balakot. They were identified as 18-year-old Abdul Aziz, Abdul Ghani, 52, and his spouse Farzand Begum, 42.

Separately, a 50-year-old woman, Shamim Akhtar, was injured in Naar Dabsi village, Anwar informed.

He said six of the victims had been shifted to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Kotli owing to their critical wounds. (Agencies)

 

Mehbooba expresses deep shock over deaths 

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has expressed deep shock and grief over the death of five members of a family in a cross LoC shelling incident in the Balakote sector of Poonch district early morning today.

The Chief Minister described the incident as heart wrenching which has caused a wave of shock among the people of the State. She has prayed for peace to the departed souls and wished speedy recovery of the other two injured members of the family.

Mehbooba Mufti reiterated that dialogue and reconciliation are the only means to get the State and the region out of this vicious cycle of blood spilling for which she appealed all sections of society and Governments to support.  

Omar asks India-Pak to observe ceasefire

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has called upon India and Pakistan to uphold the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC), saying innocent lives were being lost to border skirmishes.

 

Ceasefire was the best gift India and Pakistan gave to the areas near the border and the LoC, but since the last few years, we are continuously seeing that it has remained confined to paper only. It is not being implemented. I request both New Delhi as well as Islamabad to please follow the ceasefire as part of the CBMs (confidence building measures),” Abdullah said.

 

Innocent lives are being lost, he said and referred to the killing of five members of a family in Pakistani shelling today. 

 

“This is too much. We want there should be peace on the border and the LoC, Abdullah said.

 

The National Conference (NC) working president was speaking to reporters after a party convention at Damhal Hanjipora in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on the occasion of the 23rd death anniversary of NC leader and former speaker Wali Muhammad Itoo.

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