A dispute between Indian and Pakistani troops across the Line of Control left two Indian children, a 10-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, dead. Both sides accused the other of an unprovoked violation of the oft-broken border ceasefire.
The two youths were killed by "unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars" from Pakistan, according to Colonel NN Joshi of the Indian military. The incident occurred in Poonch in southwest Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistan Foreign Ministry fired back that India had violated the ceasefire five times in the last 12 days, killing 11 civilians and injuring 37 others.
Elsewhere in Kashmir, the Indian Army reported that they killed five militants in shootouts just miles from the border between Kashmir and Pakistan. The violence occurred in Tangdhar and Torna in the wee hours of the morning, when the separatists attempted to enter the towns under the cover of night. Indian forces spotted them and opened fire.
Three alleged terrorists were killed in Tangdhar and two more in Torna, according to Indian military spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia. The identity and affiliation of the slain militants is unknown.
Indian police reported that in Pulwama in the south of the province, an Indian police constable was killed after alleged terrorists opened fire on him. And in Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir's west, Indian police reported that an alleged terrorist hurled a grenade at Kashmiri police officers, injuring two.
With at least eight killed across five separate incidents, the border skirmishes between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir show no signs of abating. Various estimates of the death toll from the last year suggest between 160 and 260 people have been killed in the violence over the disputed region.
Since the 1947 partitioning of India and Pakistan into distinct countries, Jammu and Kashmir has been a flashpoint, as both nations claim it as their own. The predominantly Muslim region ended up under Indian control following the Indian victory in the 1947 War, part of the bloody partitioning of British India into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India that resulted in over 1 million deaths.
However, the Indian control of the region has never come easily, with frequent revolts, unrests and border squabbles with Islamabad. Since 2014, the border has become increasingly unstable, with ceasefires and military misadventure aplenty on both sides. However, the situation has yet to escalate to war, as it has multiple times in the past — most recently during the 1999 Kargil War that left thousands dead.
New Delhi has also accused Pakistan of supporting Islamist and Kashmiri separatist terrorist groups such as the Jaish e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e Taiba, accusations that Pakistan has denied.