The aerial engagement followed overnight artillery fire by both sides. Pakistan used heavy calibre weapons in 12 to 15 places along the de facto border in Kashmir, known as the Line of Control (LoC), a spokesman for the Indian defense forces said on Wednesday.
“The Indian Army retaliated for effect and our focused fire resulted in severe destruction to five posts and number of casualties,” the spokesman said.
Five Indian soldiers suffered minor wounds in the shelling that ended on Wednesday morning, he added.
“So far there are no (civilian) casualties but there is panic among people,” said Rahul Yadav, the deputy commissioner of the Poonch district on the Indian side where some of the shelling took place.
“We have an evacuation plan in place and if need arises we will evacuate people to safer areas,” he said.
Officials on the Pakistani side said at least four people had been killed and seven wounded, including civilians, with thousands evacuated and schools closed in border areas.
“Only those families are still here which have concrete bunkers built within or along their homes,” said Muhammad Din, a resident of Chakothi, a village in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir near the de facto border.
India has also continued its crackdown on suspected militants operating in Kashmir, and on Wednesday security forces killed two Jaish militants in a gun battle, Indian police said.
The latest exchanges hit stock markets in both countries. Pakistani stocks fell sharply during morning trade with the benchmark KSE 100 Index down 3.34 percent and the narrower KMI 30 index down 3.6 percent in Karachi.
The Indian stock market was down around 0.5 percent, but the nervousness was evident in Mumbai. There was a visible increase in security levels in India’s financial capital, which has suffered numerous militant attacks in the past.