ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday accused India of killing three civilians and wounding five others in cross-border fire, as tensions soar in disputed Kashmir.
The incident occurred in Nakyal sector, near the frontier dividing Indian-held Kashmir from Pakistan’s Punjab province, Pakistani officials said.
“At least three people including a women and a girl were killed and five others injured when Indian troops opened fire across the border near Nakyal sector on the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan,” district administration official Adnan Khursheed told AFP.
He said the wounded were taken to a hospital in Kotli. Zeeshan Nisar, an administration official in Nakyal confirmed the incident, adding that a seven-year-old girl was among the dead.
The latest violence comes after New Delhi announced Thursday it was expelling a Pakistani visa official for suspected spying, with Islamabad responding by saying it would send back an Indian diplomat in an apparent tit-for-tat move.
Relations between the two countries have plummeted in recent months, with India blaming Pakistani militants for a raid on an army base in its part of disputed Kashmir in September that killed 19 soldiers. India said it responded by carrying out strikes across the heavily-militarised border, although Islamabad denies these took place.
Tensions were already high before the attack, with deadly violence over the death on July 8 of a popular militant leader.
Nearly 90 people, most of them young protesters, have been killed in clashes with security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir since then.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence from Britain in 1947. Both claim the territory in full and have fought two wars over the mountainous region.