At least two Pakistani children have reportedly been killed and nearly two dozen others injured in the latest exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani military forces along the de facto border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Pakistani Narowal District coordination officer Najaf Iqbal said a 10-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy lost their lives when Indian forces struck the area early on Monday. He added that 14 local residents also sustained injuries in the assault.
Meanwhile, Indian media said at least six civilians were injured during overnight mortar shelling in the Kathua district of the Indian-administered Kashmir.
India has made no comments on the issue, yet.
Some seven decades of hostility
An unnamed Pakistani police officer said Pakistani paramilitary forces used 81mm and 82mm mortar rounds to target over two dozen villages and nearly 30 Indian border outposts in the area.
Pakistan and India have been engaged in hostility over Kashmir ever since their independence from British colonial rule and their partition in 1947.
The two neighbors have fought two wars over the mountainous region as the archrivals both lay claim to the entire territory. Each controls parts of it, though. Pakistan controls one-third of Kashmir, with the remaining two-thirds being under India’s control.
Islamabad and New Delhi agreed on a ceasefire in 2003, and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire.
Thousands of people have been killed in the unrest in Kashmir over the past two decades.