At least 10 people were killed by artillery fire Sunday along the de facto India-Pakistan border in Kashmir, officials said, as both countries accuse each other of trying to destabilise the disputed region.

Indian troops on patrol in Srinagar in Kashmir
Indian troops on patrol in Srinagar in Kashmir AFP / TAUSEEF MUSTAFA

Tensions escalated between the nuclear-armed neighbours after India revoked Kashmir's autonomy on August 5 and imposed movement and communications restrictions to quell unrest.

Officials from the two countries accused each other's militaries of firing across the so-called Line of Control.

Crowds gather at a funeral for victims of cross border shelling in Nosari sector in Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Crowds gather at a funeral for victims of cross border shelling in Nosari sector in Pakistan-administered Kashmir AFP / SAJJAD QAYYUM

India's army chief General Bipin Rawat told reporters in New Delhi that infiltration across the border has occurred repeatedly since August 5.

Two soldiers and a civilian were killed and three others injured in "unprovoked fire by Pakistan" in the mountainous Kupwara district, a spokesman for the army told AFP earlier Sunday.

A resident in Jora, a Neelum valley village in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, stands by her home damaged by cross border shelling
A resident in Jora, a Neelum valley village in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, stands by her home damaged by cross border shelling AFP / SAJJAD QAYYUM

Several homes were damaged in the attack and three civilians were being treated in a hospital, he added.

Relatives and friends mourn victims of cross-border shelling in Jora, a Neelum valley village of Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Relatives and friends mourn victims of cross-border shelling in Jora, a Neelum valley village of Pakistan-administered Kashmir AFP / SAJJAD QAYYUM

Rawat said his troops used larger-round artillery fire to hit "terrorist camps" across the border.

"We had definitive information and coordinates of these camps and in the retaliatory action that our forces have taken, we have caused severe damage to the terror infrastructure," Rawat said, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI) news wire.

Residents of Jora in Pakistan-administered Kashmir have been hard-hit by the cross border shelling from India
Residents of Jora in Pakistan-administered Kashmir have been hard-hit by the cross border shelling from India AFP / SAJJAD QAYYUM

According to Rawat, since the shelling Indian forces have been unable to hear "any mobile communication" from the Pakistani side of the border, implying that "there have been casualty, damage, which the Pakistani army does not want to highlight," PTI said.

Civilian casualties

But Islamabad accused the Indian army of targeting civilians, with the foreign affairs ministry saying six were killed, while several others -- including women and children -- were seriously hurt in areas near the Line of Control.

The military added that one soldier also died, taking the toll in Pakistan-administered Kashmir to seven.

The shelling came ahead of two key Indian state polls on Monday, where nearly 100 million people can cast their votes in northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is aiming to win a second term in the states, and one of the BJP's main campaign platforms has been the stripping of Muslim-majority Kashmir's autonomy.

There has been a jump in deaths in recent days with five people killed in Indian Kashmir on Wednesday, two days after New Delhi restored mobile phone and text services.

Indian authorities said repeatedly during the lockdown that Kashmir has been mostly peaceful.

Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since 1947 and was the spark of two wars and numerous skirmishes.

An armed rebellion against Indian rule has raged in the valley since 1989, claiming tens of thousands of lives, mostly civilians.