A Pakistan Army soldier was martyred as the Indian army resorted to ceasefire violations from across the restive Line of Control (LoC), the military’s media wing said on Thursday.
The firing also left one civilian dead and 14 others injured, officials said.
“Indian Army troops resorted to ceasefires violation in Baroh and Chirikot sector along [the] LoC. [As a result] Sepoy Naimat Wali embraced martyrdom,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
Chirikot sector is located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s (AJK) Haveli district.
In response, the ISPR said, Pakistan Army troops targeted Indian posts, damaging them “substantially”. There were reports of casualties of Indian troops, the statement added.
It was believed that the soldier was martyred on Wednesday evening, when two civilians – 50-year-old Perveen Akhtar and her 15-year-old daughter Saba Tariq – were also injured in Seerhiyan village of Chirikot sector.
On Thursday, Neza Pir sector of Haveli district came under heavy Indian shelling from 3pm to 6pm, and resultantly two women – Naseeb Jan, 40, and Robina Bibi, 16 — were injured in Chahjal Bala and Kairni villages, respectively, police official Khalid Mahmood told Dawn from the area.
Also on Thursday, the Indian army resorted to “unprovoked” shelling in Neelum district after sunset, which left an 8-year-old boy, Faizan Mir, dead and his parents, Fayaz Mir and Zahida Bibi, injured in Changan Seri village, said Akhtar Ayub, a disaster management officer based in district headquarters Athmuqam. He added that the family’s house was burnt to ashes.
Another six people were injured in main Changan village along Neelum valley road.
They were identified as Muhammad Din, his spouse Asiya Bibi and children Asad Mir and Anjum Bibi; Khalid Mir, Habibullah Mir and Malik Tufail.
Houses of Muhammad Din and Malik Tufail were also destroyed, according to the official.
Ayub said since shelling in Neelum valley was continuing, casualties were feared to rise.
In Poonch district, three people were injured in Tetrinote village of tehsil Hajira. They were identified as Ajmal, 55, Sughra, 15, and Zahira, 13.
Two houses, owned by Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain and Muhammad Shafi, were also damaged by the Indian shelling.
An official in Abbaspur tehsil of Poonch district said intermittent shelling was going on in his area as well, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Condemning the fresh ceasefire violations by the Indian troops, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said the Indian army had crossed all limits of “shamelessness and cowardliness”.
“Hardly anywhere in the world exists such an army that derives pleasure from shooting down unarmed men, women and children while they are busy in their normal life [along the LoC],” he said.
“Escalations along the ceasefire line are aimed at diverting the world attention from occupied Jammu and Kashmir which is under lockdown for over two months,” Haider said.
“Since India is being chastised around the globe for the situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, it is venting its frustration by killing Kashmiris both within the occupied territory and on our side of the dividing line,” he added.
The AJK premier also paid tributes to the Pakistan Army for offering their lives to thwart Indian aggression.
He directed the health authorities to leave no stone unturned to provide the best available medical facilities to the victims of the Indian shelling.
According to Saeed Qureshi, a director at the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), the latest ceasefire violations have pushed the civilian death toll in the current year to 44.
Military sources said that 19 soldiers have laid down their lives along the LoC in 2019.
Apart from the deceased, another 222 civilians sustained injuries in the ongoing year, he said.
Qureshi said some 49 houses were also destroyed and 360 houses and nine shops partially damaged in Indian shelling.
Aside from the above, eight cattle sheds, four schools, two health facilities, one mosque and 11 vehicles also suffered partial damages, he said.
Villagers also lost at least 49 cattle head in Indian shelling in the current year, he added.
The LoC violations come as tensions remain high between India and Pakistan over the former’s move to revoke occupied Kashmir’s special autonomy on August 5.