A spate of violent attacks in the disputed region of Kashmir between Pakistanis and Indians saw the two nuclear-armed nations potentially inch closer to war amid growing tensions over terrorism threats.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said New Delhi would retaliate any attack on its territory as he visited Saturday the Indian-Pakistani border. "We never open fire first, but if attacked, in retaliation we never count the bullets after pulling the trigger," Singh told Border Security Force officers.
Meanwhile, an Indian policeman was killed Saturday in the Shopian district of South Kashmir Saturday after terrorists opened fire at a police department. A group of terrorists later allegedly attacked Indian policemen Sunday in South Kashmir's Pulwama district, snatching two AK-47 rifles.
Militants also attacked a government building Monday, opening fire and injuring an Indian soldier. "One soldier has been injured in the exchange of fire with militants holed up inside the building," a defense spokesman said in Srinagar, according to local media reports.
A cease fire in the Kashmir border region between India and Pakistan has been fragile in recent weeks after a terrorist attack in September at an Indian military camp saw 19 soldiers killed. Pakistan denied its involvement in the attack, but India responded by carrying out surgical strikes Sept. 29 against Pakistan. Further fighting took place last week along the so-called Line of Control that divides the region between the two nations. Most recently, Pakistani troops fired at the Indian military in Kashmir's Poonch district Saturday for about two hours. Indian forces responded with mortar shell fire.
Cross-border fire isn't new. Last year, 16 civilians were killed and 71 were injured during 405 attacks over the border, NDTV reported. In all, Pakistan and India have fought two wars over Kashmir, a region the size of California, during the past 70 years and have nearly gone to war four times since 1987. India controls eastern Kashmir and the southern Kashmir Valley, while Pakistan oversees the north and west.
A nuclear war between Pakistan and India would kill 20 million people in a week, according to one study.