Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor says an Indian post near Tatta Pani village was "destroyed" after Indian sniper fire killed driver of a school van carrying children in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Pakistan army soldiers patrol at a forward area Bagsar post on the Line of Control (LOC), that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India, in Bhimber in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Pakistan army soldiers patrol at a forward area Bagsar post on the Line of Control (LOC), that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India, in Bhimber in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. (AP Archive)

Pakistan's army on Friday said it killed five Indian soldiers when it destroyed their post in the Himalayan region of Kashmir in retaliation against Indian sniper fire that struck a school van, killing the driver.

Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor and other officials said the Indian post near Tatta Pani village was "destroyed" late on Thursday after sniper fire earlier in the day hit a school van carrying children in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, killing the driver and traumatising students.

Ghafoor vowed that Pakistan will always respond to "Indian terrorism against innocent citizens."

The Indian army has denied Pakistan's claim, saying there was no ceasefire violation on the de facto border - called Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir - from its side on Thursday.

Pakistan condemned the attack on the van and urged the world community to take notice.

India violating Geneva Conventions?

Haleema Shaheen said she was in the van when bullets struck the vehicle, killing driver Sarfaraz Ahmed, but all the students escaped unhurt.

On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the targeting of a school van by India.

"Such unprovoked and unethical acts have exposed the real face of India, which continues to violate the Geneva Convention by targeting innocent school children," he said.

Sardar Masood Khan, president of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, denounced India's "aggression." 

He appealed to the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan, or UNMOGIP, to investigate the incident.

Rare attack on school van

Pakistan and India often trade fire on LoC in disputed Kashmir, but it was one of the rare incidents in which school van was attacked. 

In 2016, the Indian artillery fire and shelling had struck a passenger bus in Kashmir, killing 12 civilians.

Nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. 

Rebel groups fighting over 500,000 Indian soldiers in India-administered Kashmir demand that Kashmir be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. 

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the region, and most people support the rebels' cause against Indian rule while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

Nearly 100,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown since 1989.

Source: AP