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File photo of an Indian soldier looks towards the site of a gunbattle between troops and rebels inside an army brigade headquarters near the Line of Control (LoC)Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Nuclear neighbours India and Pakistan have a history of conflict and diplomatic tensions (file picture)

Pakistan’s military has accused India’s air force of violating its airspace, and says it scrambled jets in response.

Military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted: “Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow.”

Indian aircraft “released [a] payload in haste… near Balakot”, he added.

There has been no official statement from India.

However, Indian air force sources confirmed to the BBC that strikes had been conducted.

Maj Gen Ghafoor tweeted that the “intrusion” had come three to four miles across the Line of Control, the border which divides India-administered Kashmir from Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

“No infrastructure got hit, no casualties,” he added.

The incident follows a suicide bomb attack on an Indian security convoy in Pulwama, in Indian-administered Kashmir, earlier this month.

What happened in Pulwama?

On 14 February, 46 Indian paramilitary police were killed in a militant operation there. It was the deadliest attack on Indian forces in Kashmir for decades.

The assault was claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and prompted a spike in tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

Pakistan denied involvement, while India said its neighbour had had a “direct hand” in the attack, and accused it of providing sanctuary to the militants.

Both India and Pakistan claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir, but control only parts of it. The nations have fought three wars and a limited conflict since independence from Britain in 1947 – and all but one were over Kashmir.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi should “give peace a chance”. He added that if India provided “actionable intelligence” regarding the Pulwama attack that proved Pakistani involvement, “we will immediately act”.

On Saturday, Mr Modi had called on Mr Khan to join India in fighting poverty and illiteracy, instead of the pair fighting each other.