The Indian Army has accused Pakistani forces of violating the fragile ceasefire along multiple points at the Line of Control border between the two countries in the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Ceasefire violation by Pakistan along LoC in Shahpur and Kerni Sectors in Poonch today. From 18:00 hours (Indian Standard Time) onwards, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by heavy shelling with artillery and small arms fire," the Army said in a statement Friday.
Tensions along the LoC, which serves as the de facto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, have been high since last week's Indian Air Force operation to destroy the base of an al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group which claimed responsibility for a deadly terror attack against Indian troops last month.
On Wednesday, sources in the Indian security establishment accused Pakistan of mobilising additional troops and weaponry along the highly militarised border region, with the Army warning that any provocation would lead to "dire consequences."
The two sides have also accused one another of targeting civilians in the recent back and forth clashes along the border.
Earlier this week, hopes for a diplomatic reset emerged amid a "relatively calm" situation along the LoC, with each country making statements urging restrait against the backdrop of next week's meeting between Indian and Pakistani officials in New Delhi, and a followup visit by Indian officials to Islamabad on March 28, to discuss a draft agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor, a proposed border agreement which is hoped to serve as an olive branch to calm tensions between the nuclear neighbours.
The terrorist attack and airstrikes have since led to further incidents, including dogfights between Indian and Pakistani warplanes in which at least one Indian MiG-21 and a Pakistani F-16 were reportedly destroyed, and multiple skirmishes along the Line of Control between Indian and Pakistani troops which killed and injured multiple troops and well over a dozen civilians on both sides.