Injured in Pak shelling: Children aged 10, 12 and 14

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Injured in Pak shelling: Children aged 10, 12 and 14

One of the three young children injured in a village near the border, hit by shelling from Pakistan

Srinagar:  At village Najwal near the border in Jammu and Kashmir, Bachno Devi's 10-year-old son was having lunch at home when a shell exploded right next to him.

The boy and his sisters aged 12 and 14 were all injured in shelling from across the border on Thursday, the youngest victims of the latest ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops.

"There was heavy firing in our village. I had come home after buying medicine, I was cooking and my son was taking lunch, suddenly there was a bomb, I don't know what happened after that," says Bachno Devi.

For villages near the Line of Control, or the de facto border with Pakistan, it is a chilling reminder of life before the ceasefire of 2003, when thousands left their homes to escape the violence on the border.

In the past three days, there have been eight ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today questioned why the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif last month had failed to stop the spurt in such incidents.

"It was only a few days ago that our Prime Minister met Pakistani Prime Minister in New York. They spoke about the ceasefire violation and it was decided that the DGMOs (Director General Military Operations) of both these countries will talk to each other and find a solution to this problem. Instead of getting solved, the matter is getting worse and the manner in which civilian areas were shelled yesterday and some of our children were injured, it doesn't seem that their intentions are right," said the 43-year-old Chief Minister.

Weeks after that meeting, there have been no moves towards a meeting of the top military officers.

The army says there have been over 150 violations in the past two months. The Chief Minister said New Delhi should take up the issue strongly with Pakistan, adding that it would be "extremely difficult to maintain talks on ceasefire if the situation worsened."

Sources in the security establishment say there are more than 40 training camps across the LoC and 700 militants are ready to infiltrate. More ceasefire violations are likely just before winter sets in and snow blocks the passes.



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