A 13-year-old girl was allegedly killed in Pakistani-administered Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday in an exchange of gunfire along the border with the Indian-administered side of the region, according to the Pakistani military.
Amid heightened tensions between the South Asian nuclear rivals, the Pakistani Army accused Indian border forces of targeting civilians on the Pakistani side of the disputed Kashmir valley, claiming that the girl's mother and a 12-year-old boy were also injured due to "indiscriminate" fire.
"Indian Army Troops initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation in Hajipir and Bedori Sectors along LOC (Line of Control, a de facto border that splits the disputed valley between the two countries) last night targeting civil population. Due to indiscriminate fire of Indian troops in Mensar village, Bedori Sector, a 13 years old innocent girl, Iqra Shabbir embraced shahadat, while her mother and a 12 years old boy sustained serious injuries," the army statement said.
The clash was the latest in a series of border skirmishes since India revoked the decadeslong special status of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir last August, further fueling the already escalating tensions between the longtime rivals.
On Friday, Indian military officials accused Pakistan of a similar cross-border cease-fire violation.
"On 19 Jun 2020, in the evening hours, Pakistan initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation (CFV) along the LoC in Tangdhar Sector by firing Mortars and other weapons," Indian army spokesman Rajesh Kalia told Anadolu Agency (AA).
From 1954 until Aug. 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed special status under the Indian Constitution, which allowed it to enact its own laws.
India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.