Muzaffarabad: A woman, Noor Begum, 75, was killed on Wednesday when a mortar shell hit her home in Daheri Dabsi village in Nakial sector while another aged villager Munshi Khan, 70, was killed in Lanjhot village, close to the LoC. At least six villagers, including women, were also injured in late night shelling from the Indian side.
Terrified residents of the villages have started fleeing their homes to safer places and schools have been closed down.“People have started vacating areas under fire and we are trying to prevent massive exodus keeping in view the challenges confronting arrangements for displaced families,” PaK minister for food Javed Budhanvi told Kashmir Reader.
He said all the schools have been closed in shelling-hit areas from Wednesday and a population of 60,000 has been affected by firing from across the LOC, which has been continuing for over a week.
“The shelling is so severe that we cannot go to affected villages to ascertain the damage to property,” Budhanvi said.
Hundreds of residents have also left their homes in villages under fire in Khurashidabad sector in the remote district of Haveli where schools have also been closed after shells fired from across the LoC hit villages. “We have shifted some schools which were under Indian shelling in Kerni and Mandhar villages on the LoC to safe places,” deputy commissioner Haveli Sardar Tahir Mehmood said. PaK officials say dozens of residential houses and schools have been destroyed both partially and completely due to Indian shelling.
Meanwhile PaK Prime Minister Choudhary Abdul Majeed has condemned the Indian shelling on the civilian population and urged the UNO to take “notice of Indian aggression” on the LoC.
Meanwhile, an Indian defence spokesman claimed that Pakistani troops had fired on civilian areas and military positions along the LoC in Poonch district overnight, drawing retaliation from the army. “Pakistan troops resorted to firing on forward posts along the LoC in Balakote and Poonch sectors overnight,” he said.
“We responded appropriately and effectively to the firing,” the spokesman said.
—With inputs from PTI