Cross-border fire over the Line of Control (LoC) resulted in the deaths of three Pakistani soldiers on Tuesday, April 2, according to Pakistan's military. In a statement from a military spokesperson, Indian forces targeted the Rawalakot sector in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) region, killing three soldiers and wounding one other. Shelling in recent days was also reported in Kotli district (AJK) and Poonch district of Indian-controlled Kashmir state. Pakistani forces reportedly retaliated against Indian troops, resulting in casualties; no statements were released by Indian forces. Further fighting is likely across the LoC in the coming days and weeks.
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. 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 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.
Individuals in India and Pakistan 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.
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