MIRPUR (AJK) - At least eight civilians, including five women, were injured as a result of unprovoked Indian firing and shelling on various forward villages located at this side of the Line of Control in Bhimber and Kotli districts of Mirpur division of Azad Jammu Kashmir on Saturday, official sources said.

The Indian troops, without any provocation, resorted to shelling at about 7am on various villages in three sectors of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, injuring eight civilians, including five housewives, three of them seriously, the district administration officials of the two districts said, talking to this correspondent on phone.

The locked house of a Germany-based Kashmiri expatriate, Haji Rehmanullah in village Sabzkot in Charhoi sector of Kotli district, caught fire following the Indian shelling, Rescue-15 District Station in-charge said.

Three civilians, identified as Muhammad Sharif s/o Hussain Muhammad, Nisar Ahmed s/o Muhammad Qurban and Aneela Begam wife of Khurram Shehzad Khathiyana, sustained serious injuries as a result of the Indian shelling on various forward villages of Dana, Chahi, Dhandher, Poona, Khamba and Haripur on LoC in Samani sector of Bhimber district of AJK, Deputy Commissioner Ch Guftar Hussain told this correspondent.

The DC said Indian border troops started firing, without any provocation, targeting the local population of the forward villages at about 7am, which continued till this afternoon intermittently.

Guftar Hussain said the injured had been admitted to the DHQ hospitals of Mirpur and Bhimber.

At the same time, Four other civilians, Muhammad Younus, Samina wife of Muhammad Tufail, Rehana wife of Muhammad Atif and Musarrat Bibi wife of Muhammad Ashraf, sustained serious injuries after Indian troops targeted the civilian population of forward villages of Rajdahani, Sahara, Nakyal and Khud Mathi Dhaira in Khuiratta sector of Kotli district. Similarly, Afraz Begam wife of Sajid was wounded in the unprovoked firing on village Sabzkot in Charhoi sector of Kotli district, the police officer said.

The injured were rushed to District Headquarters Hospital Kotli where their condition is stated to be out of danger.

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan condemned the repeated incidents of the unprovoked firing by the Indian Army on the LoC in various AJK sectors and described it as a blatant aggression.

Raja Farooq Haider Khan directed the authorities of Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber hospitals to provide the best possible medical facilities to the injured to ensure their early recovery.

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

AFP adds: Heavy shelling killed two people, including a teenager, in Indian-held Kashmir on Saturday, an official claimed.

The victims, a 13-year-old girl and a 51-year-old man, were killed when mortar bombs hit parts of Rajouri district on the Indian side of the official border known as the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

"Two people have been killed by mortar shells," Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, deputy commissioner of Rajouri, told AFP, adding three others were injured.

Defence spokesman, Manish Mehta, blamed Pakistan's army for initiating "indiscriminate firing" from 07:15 am (local time) Saturday.

"The Indian Army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively. The firing is presently on," Mehta said in a statement.

Scores of families have reportedly migrated to safer places from five villages near the LoC, while authorities have called for an indefinite shutdown of all schools in three Rajouri towns.