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03 Apr 2020 | 07:41 PM UTC

India: Cross-border fire in Jammu and Kashmir wounds six soldiers April 3

Indian and Pakistani soldiers exchange cross-border fire in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri and Poonch districts on April 3; further shelling possible in coming days

security
IND

Event

Cross-border exchanges left six Indian soldiers wounded on Friday, April 3, in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district. Pakistani troops reportedly fired artillery and small arms over the Line of Control (LoC) into the Sunderbani sector of the district early Friday morning (local time). According to Indian army, Indian forces retaliated, however, no Pakistani casualties were immediately reported. Another incident of cross-border firing was also reported in the Poonch district on Friday evening. Further shelling is possible on both sides of the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in the coming days and weeks.

Context

Tensions significantly escalated between India and Pakistan after the IAF conducted airstrikes on a a suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp near Balakot (Pakistan) on February 26, 2019. JeM recently claimed responsibility for a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack in Pulwama district (Jammu and Kashmir) on February 14, killing at least 40 Indian paramilitary officers. India has accused Pakistan of supporting the attackers. The airstrike initiated a series of retaliatory airstrikes and artillery fire near the Line of Control (LoC). Tensions have calmed over the past year since the return of a captured Indian pilot on March 1, but sporadic gunfire and shelling continues across the LoC.

India and Pakistan both claim sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the focus of periodic violent conflict since 1947.

Advice

Individuals in India are advised to monitor developments to the situation, refrain from travel to Jammu and Kashmir and all areas near the India-Pakistan border, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.