Woman killed, nine others injured in ‘ruthless shelling’ by Indian Army at LoC, says Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday said that a woman was killed and nine other people, including two police constables, were injured in Pakistan Administered Kashmir after Indian Army resorted to ‘ruthless’ mortar shelling from across the restive Line of Control (LoC).

According to a report in the Dawn, the target on the last day of 2018 was Athmuqam, the otherwise rarely hit district headquarters of the picturesque Neelum Valley, located some 80 kilometres northeast of Muzaffarabad.

“First they [Indians] fired some shells on Pakistan Army posts, but suddenly they started pounding civilian installations with mortar shells,” Akhtar Ayub, an Athmuqam based disaster risk management officer told the Dawn.

Ayub claimed that Indian troops targeted the entire one-kilometre radius of Athmuqam, overlooked by Indian gun positions atop lofty mountains across the unmarked dividing line.

“Shelling was so indiscriminate that we thought they [Indians] will devastate everything existing on the ground,” Samiya Amir, a student of Neelum Valley told The Dawn.

According to the report, the deceased, identified as Asiya Bibi, was hit in the head by a shrapnel from a mortar shell outside her house, he said. The mother of a toddler died on the spot.

The injured were identified as Sadaf Zia, 16, Misbah Jameel, 8, Kulsoom Shafqat, 18, Zarmeen Bibi, 20, Ansar Bibi, 35, and her son Khawaja Amir, 20, Rafaqat Khan, 35, and police constables Raja Zulqarnain, 36, and Malik Sajjad, 33.

All of them were treated locally and were out of danger, Ayub said.

Earlier, the Indian Army claimed that the a ‘major attempt by Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) to strike a forward post along the Line of Control in North Kashmir’s Naugam sector was foiled yesterday.’

The statement released by the Indian Army’s 15 corps in Srinagar on Monday said added that in the ‘retaliation by the Indian Army followed by a thorough search operation confirmed the elimination of two likely Pakistani soldiers.’

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