MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani school bus driver was killed and several children were wounded on Friday in Indian firing along the frontier in the disputed Kashmir region, Pakistan said.
“A shell landed near a school bus in Mohra village of Nakyal sector, leaving the driver dead and eight children wounded,” official Sardar Zeeshan Nisar told Reuters by telephone from the area.
The firing was a violation of a 2003 ceasefire, the Pakistani army’s media wing said in a statement.
“Pakistani troops effectively responded and targeted Indian posts from where fire was coming,” it said.
The Indian army had no immediate comment on the Pakistani report but a spokesman said Pakistani forces had fired across the Line of Control - the de facto border - and the Indian side had given a “befitting reply”.
The Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India and claimed in entirety by both. The longtime foes have fought two of their three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 over Kashmir.
Tension has risen in the region since a Sept. 18 attack on an Indian army base in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed 18 soldiers, an attack India blamed on Pakistan-based separatists.
Firing across the Line of Control by both sides has increased since then, with dozens killed and wounded and each side blaming the other.
An Indian crackdown on protests in its part of Kashmir has killed at least 80 civilians since the July killing of a popular separatist leader in a operation by Indian security forces.
Additional reporting by Fayaz Bukhari in SRINAGAR, India; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Robert Birsel