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Commandos cross LoC: 14 AJK villagers slain by Indians

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    Commandos cross LoC: 14 AJK villagers slain by Indians

    MUZAFFARABAD, Feb 25: In yet another worst incident of cross-border terrorism, Indian commandos sneaked into a southern village of Azad Kashmir, located along the Line of Control, and massacred 14 persons, including women and children, officials confirmed on Friday.

    The gory incident occurred at about 12 o'clock on Thursday night in Lanjot village of the Nakyal sector, located barely 150 yards off the Line of Control in the Kotli district. Eleven people died on the spot and five others were critically wounded, three of whom succumbed to their wounds in the hospital, Sheikh Tahir Qayyum, deputy inspector-general of the AJK police, told Dawn here.

    The dead, aged from two to 90 years, included six women, three men and five children. Only two men survived. All the victims, belonging to the Sudhan tribe, were related to each other and had gathered in the house of Mohammad Murtaza to attend a Quran Khwani there.

    There was heavy shelling from across the LoC when the Indians carried out the act. The firing was started by the Indians to engage the Pakistan army, whose post is located some 400 metres away from the scene of the incident. Besides, there was loadshedding at that time.

    "It is an open act of savagery and terrorism. They (the Indians) crossed the LoC and brutally murdered the innocent and unarmed civilians with guns and bayonets," the DIG said, adding that three of the victims, including a couple, were decapitated and the hands of another man had been chopped off the shoulders by the attackers.

    Those who died on the spot were identified as Mohammad Alam, 90, son of Mir Wali; Mohammad Murtaza, 29, son of Abdul Hameed; Kali Begum, 27, wife of Mohammad Murtaza; Sarwar Begum, 55, wife of Abdul Hameed; Faiza Begum, 30, daughter of Abdul Hameed; Gulzar Begum, 60, widow of Fateh Sher; Khurshid Begum, 30, wife of Niaz Akhtar; Ammad Niaz, 2, son of Niaz Akhtar; Perveen Akhtar, 30, wife of Mohammad Younas; Sehar Younas, 7, daughter of Mohammad Younas; Moulvi Faiz, 60, son of Said Mohammad.

    Five others, Mohammad Younas, 40, son of Lal Khan; Mohammad Ishtiaq, 24, son of Mohammad Hussain; Farhad Niaz, 10, son of Niaz Akhtar; Moula Bux, 4, son of Mohammad Younas; Mohammad Ikhlaq, 6, son of Mohammad Hussain; were critically wounded, with deep dagger wounds in their skulls. They were taken to the district headquarters hospital, Kotli. However, Farhad, Moula Bux and Ikhlaq died on way from wounds in the hospital while Ishtiaq was removed to the PIMS in Islamabad.

    Mohammad Younas told local reporters in the DHQ hospital in Kotli that fierce shelling from across the LoC preceded the assault by the Indians. Three shells had landed close to the house they were in, he said and added that the attackers, who numbered about 15 and were in army dress, entered the house shooting all the way. They started slaughtering the inmates with bayonets and guns. I tried to escape but was shot at, said Younas, whose wife and 7-year-old daughter were among the dead.

    Kotli deputy commissioner Abu Talib Kazmi told this correspondent that there was no let-up in enemy shelling due to which burials could not be held till afternoon. The bodies were removed with much difficulty to the Dabsi village where they were laid on charpoys. Funeral prayers were held in that area late afternoon. Moving scenes were witnessed on the occasion with people of all ages crying and cursing the killers.

    There was a total shutdown in the Kotli city, Nakyal and Tatta Pani towns on Friday to mourn the tragedy. Thousands of people staged demonstrations after Friday prayers and chanted anti-India slogans. Sources said people were planning to hold demos on Saturday as well. "There is a state of lamentation here. Everybody is remonstrating the barbarism and cowardice of the Indian forces," an old resident of Kotli told Dawn on telephone.

    In Muzaffarabad, a demonstration, led by senior minister Sahibzada Mohammad Ishaq Zafar, was also held. The demonstrators marched through streets of the city and finally stopped at Bank Road where they were addressed by the senior minister and others who condemned the Indian attack. Later, they went to the UN military observers' office and delivered a protest note.

    The senior minister announced a two-day mourning in Azad Kashmir with holiday on Saturday. The national flag of AJK would fly at half-mast, he said. Demonstrations were also held in many other towns of Azad Kashmir, including Rawalakot, Abbaspur and Mirpur. In 1998, 21 people were gunned down by the Indian commandos in the Bandala Seri village of the southern Bhimbher district of Azad Kashmir on the night of April 26.

    Also, early this year on Jan 26, three women and an infant were found dead in an isolated house located close to the LoC in the forward Kahuta sector in the Bagh district. The head of the family was missing and the law enforcement agencies believed that the act was carried out by the Indians

    I swear and warn every mother of an Indian soldier that the Indian Army will pay for this brutality.

    Mark my words


      I have just one question.
      Why in the world would the indian army bother to cross the LOC and kill 14 civilians deleberatly......Behind a ACTION there is a MOTIVE. and i fail to understand taht motive


        Motive is only a trait of human beings Anant.



          Another nail in the Indian coffin.



            I should have said another widow on the funeral pyre.

            Indians don't bury their dead (or their living).