New Delhi claims 22 people injured in cross-border firing and two Pakistani soldiers killed, 14 posts ‘destroyed’ in retaliation.
Indian authorities on Tuesday said eight civilians had been killed after Pakistani mortar shells hit two areas in the disputed Kashmir region, as tensions soar between the neighboring nations.
Pakistan for its part said six of its citizens had been killed by Indian gunfire on Monday and summoned a senior Indian diplomat to protest what it termed an unprovoked ceasefire violation.
India and Pakistan’s armies have regularly exchanged fire across the Line of Control as well as along their undisputed part of the border since a militant attack on an Indian army base on Sept. 18 that left 19 soldiers dead.
Both countries accuse each other of violating the ceasefire and engaging in “unprovoked firing.”
In India, two children and three adults were killed on Tuesday near Jammu in the Samba sector across the border with Pakistan’s Punjab province, said top civil official Pawan Kotwal. Two women were also killed in the mountainous Rajouri district along the LoC, the de facto border in the disputed territory, Kotwal said in a text message.
Later Tuesday, another senior police official, Danish Rana, confirmed the death of one more man in the shelling.
Twenty-two people were injured in the cross-border firing, the Press Trust of India news agency said, referring to the shelling which began in the early hours of Tuesday. 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.
Relations between the two countries have plummeted in recent months since the attack on the Indian army base, the deadliest in more than a decade. India has blamed Pakistan-based militants for the attack.
India said it responded by carrying out strikes across the heavily militarized border, although Islamabad denies these took place.