Heavy cross-border shelling in the disputed Kashmir region killed at least three Pakistani soldiers and seven Indian troops on Wednesday, Pakistan’s military said, in a sharp escalation of violence after a deadly ambush of three Indian soldiers. At least 10 civilians also were killed, witnesses said.

Pakistan’s military announced the death toll of both Pakistani and Indian forces. There was no word from India on the casualty count. A senior official with India’s paramilitary border forces said at least two personnel were injured.

The clashes were the latest in recent weeks along the heavily militarized border that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India, and it raised the specter of more unrest between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

Later Wednesday, the directors general of the two militaries held talks, but it was unclear whether it could help ease tensions.

On Tuesday, the Indian army vowed that “retribution will be heavy” after three soldiers were ambushed and killed while on border patrol in the rugged Machil area on the Indian side of the border. The body of one of the soldiers was mutilated, military officials said.

“Condemn the cowardly and brutal killing of our soldiers, and mutilation of one of them. Salute these brave martyrs for their supreme sacrifice,” India’s defense minister, Manohar Parrikar, said in a tweet.

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Featured image courtesy of AP.

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