MUZAFFARABAD: Three children were killed and three others injured on Saturday when mortar shells fired by Indian forces hit a village along the Line of Control (LoC), a Pakistan official claimed.
“Two girls and their brother died when mortar shells fired by Indian troops hit their house in Kotli district along the Line of Control (LoC),” Raja Arif Mehmodd, a local administration official, told AFP.
He said the eldest girl was aged 10 and the youngest girl aged five.
“All belonged to the same family,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani military said Pakistan and Indian border troops exchanged fire across the Line of Control (LoC)in two other sectors on Saturday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
Indian news sites citing government sources have also reported ongoing clashes in another Kashmir district of Pulwama, but made no mention of the three child deaths in Kotli.
Both Pakistani military and Indian defence officials have confirmed the exchange of fire along the LOC.
On Friday, Pakistan’s navy said it had “pushed” an Indian submarine away from Pakistani waters, as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals continue to smoulder over unrest in the disputed Kashmir region. The Indian Navy denied the statement as a ‘blatant lie’.
Tensions across the long-disputed de facto border reached dangerous levels in September, when India blamed Pakistani militants for a raid on an army base that killed 19 soldiers.
India said it had responded by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the heavily militarised border, sparking a furious reaction from Islamabad, which denied the strikes took place.
There have since been repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including of civilians.