SIALKOT/MUZAFFARABAD -  An old woman was martyred and two others sustained critical wounds as there was no letup in unprovoked mortar shelling by Indian forces on Sialkot villages in Charwah, Harpal, Sucheetgarh, Chaprar and Merajkey sectors along the Working Boundary on Tuesday.

The Indian BSF fired long-range mortar and artillery shells to target far-off Sialkot border villages as well, said the shelling-hit locals.

According to senior officials of the Punjab Rangers, the BSF shelled border villages early Tuesday killing Sughran Bibi (60) in village Wainse-Daallowali (Harpal sector) and injuring two other persons Naseem Bibi (62) in village Lasso Chak (Charwah sector) and Ghulam Abbas (38) in Merajkey village.

The Rescue 1122 officials shifted the injured to Sialkot Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in critical condition. The shelling continued the whole day intermittently.

Some long-range mortar shells fired by India also hit a private school building in village Merajkey injuring Ghulam Abbas who had taken shelter there along with some other people. The school building was also damaged.

Dozens of more houses were badly damaged by the shelling while dozens of cattle were also killed or injured in the artillery shelling by India, said the local people.

The Punjab Rangers, however, responded effectively, the Rangers officials added.

The border villages hit by Indian shelling include Punwal, Punwal Chak, Punwal Khurd, Nandpur, Rangpur Jattan, Salehpur, Malaaney, Thathi, Jhumiyaan and nearby villages(Chaprar sector), Joiyaan, Anula, Harpal, Salaankey, Wahga, Khanor, Sangiyaal, Umeraanwali(Harpal sector), Wainse, Daallowali, Kundanpur, Thathi, Meendarwal and surrounding villages (Sucheetgarh sector), Jarwal, Charwah, Merajkey, Akhnur, Dhamala, Haakimwala, Tulsipur, Lasso Chak, Bharthaal, Rangpur, Tandiyaal, Thakariyaal, Sangiyaal and surrounding villages (Charwah sector).

Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) has also confirmed death of an old woman and injuries to two other civilians due to unprovoked mortar shelling by India along Sialkot Working Boundary.

Meanwhile in Muzaffarabad, hundreds of border residents have left their houses and moved to safer places as India continues to shell border villages along the Line of Control (LoC), officials said.

They said hundreds of families, taking advantage of a temporary lull on the LoC's Nakyal sector on Tuesday morning, left their homes taking their necessary belongings with them.

"The phase of fleeing homes hasn't started today and nearly eight hundred families have shifted on their own to safer places mostly to their relatives and friends," said AJK Minister for Revenue Sardar Farooq Sikandar.

He said government had made some arrangements to set up camps for shelling-displaced persons but so far they have shifted to safe areas on their own.

Officials said Indian army also continued shelling border villages on Tuesday injuring two more villagers.

INDIA VIOLATED LOC, WB 178 TIMES THIS YEAR: ISPR

Staff reporter from Islamabad adds: Indian security forces committed 178 ceasefire violations at the Line of Control and Working Boundary in 2016 due to which 19 civilians embraced martyrdom and 80 were injured, ISPR said yesterday.

According to ISPR, a group of UNMOGIP visited the Line of Control near Kotli yesterday and obtained first hand information of Indian highhandedness of targeting civil population near the Line of Control. During this year, 11 civilians embraced martyrdom due to the unprovoked Indian firing and 29 were seriously injured.

AFP adds: India claimed Tuesday that one more civilian had been killed by Pakistani mortar shelling in the disputed Kashmir region, taking the toll to eight.Local media reports said Indian security forces killed two Pakistani soldiers and "destroyed" 14 of their posts in retaliation after the latest cross-border firing.

Eight Indian troops have also died in the border skirmishes since September.