NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian and Pakistani troops fired at each other in the disputed Kashmir region on Monday, killing a 10-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl and injuring 12 other civilians on the Indian side, officials said.
The boy and girl were killed in firing by Pakistani soldiers in the Poonch sector on the Indian-administered side of Kashmir, police said.
Police said the injured included a 5-year-old girl.
Indian military spokesman Col. Nitin Joshi said that Pakistani soldiers targeted several posts with automatic gunfire and mortar shells and that the Indian army was "retaliating strongly and effectively."
He called Pakistan's firing an unprovoked violation of the 2003 cease-fire accord between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Pakistan had no immediate comment on Monday's firings.
Over the weekend, Pakistan said that Indian forces had fired on Pakistani positions Friday and that two civilians and a soldier were killed.
Both countries have accused the other of initiating past border skirmishes leading to the deaths of soldiers and civilians.
Last year, Indian and Pakistani soldiers engaged in some of the worst fighting along the Line of Control, a de facto frontier dividing Kashmir, since the two countries agreed to the cease-fire accord.
Another military official, Col. Rajesh Kalia, said a gunbattle erupted after Indian soldiers intercepted two militants after they crossed into Indian-held Kashmir from the Pakistani-controlled part. He said that both were killed and that soldiers recovered two weapons from the site.
Kalia said Indian soldiers suffered no casualties.
There was no independent confirmation of the incident.
India and Pakistan have a long history of bitter relations over Kashmir, a Himalayan territory claimed by both in its entirety. They have fought two of their three wars over the region since they gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
Since 1989, rebel groups have been fighting in Indian-controlled Kashmir for the territory to be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir's mostly Muslim population and most people support the rebels' cause. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and a subsequent Indian military crackdown.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, which Pakistan denies.