MIRPUR (AJK)/Islamabad -  A civilian was killed and nine others, including four women, sustained serious injuries as a result of unprovoked Indian firing and shelling on the Line of Control in Bhimbher and Kotli districts of Mirpur division Thursday, official sources said.

The Indian troops resorted to unprovoked shelling without any provocation in various sectors, including Bhimbher and Kotli districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, targeting the civil population. As a result, a civilian was martyred and nine others, including four women, were wounded. Three members of a family were also among the injured. All the injured were shifted to the hospitals of Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimbher.

According to Kotli Deputy Commissioner Raja Arshad, a local boy, Muhammad Rizwan of Sabzkot, tehsil Charhoi, lost his life while Muhammad Kamran, Walayat Begum and Aziz Khan sustained serious injuries in unprovoked shelling in Khuiratta sector in Kotli district.

The DC told this correspondent that the injured had been shifted to DHQ hospitals of Kotli and Mirpur where their condition was stated to be critical.

According to Bhimbher DC Ch Guftar Hussain, six civilians, identified as Karamat Ullah and his daughter Ujaala Akhter, Imama Noor, Asad Abbas, Musarrat Shaheen and Muntazir Hussain of Kotli Gujran, were seriously injured in the unprovoked Indian shelling in Samani valley sector.

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan visited Mirpur Divisional Headquarters Hospital and inquired after the injured. He directed the health authorities to provide the best possible treatment to them to ensure their timely recovery.

Raja Farooq Haider condemned frequent incidents of unprovoked firing by the Indian Army on the LoC and termed it aggression. He said India could not crush Kashmiris’ indigenous struggle for freedom and right to self-determination through such cowardly acts of state terrorism in Occupied Kashmir and repeated violations of the ceasefire in the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir.

The AJK PM appealed to the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) stationed in Muzaffarabad and Rawalpindi to take notice of Indian firing and civilians’ killing.

AFP adds from Muzaffarabad: Two people were killed in cross-border firing in Kashmir Thursday, one in each side of the disputed region’s de facto border, officials in India and Pakistan said.

On the Indian side, a woman was killed and her husband wounded in Naushera sector. It was unclear if the firing was still going on.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Thursday asked India to stop deliberate targeting of civilians along the Line of Control which was contrary to human dignity.

Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad J P Singh was summoned to the foreign ministry to lodge a protest over unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LoC, the foreign ministry said in a statement in Islamabad.

Director General South Asia and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Dr Mohammad Faisal told Singh that the Indian forces violated the LoC on the night of May 10 and 11 in Tandar, Subzkot, Khuiratta, Baroh, Bagsar, Khanjar sectors. He condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violation by the Indian forces.

“The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed condemnable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

He urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC.