The fatalities happened in the Nakyal sector of the southern Kotli district. Indian troops started shelling at 0300 GMT, police official Munshi Khan told AFP

“Since the shelling is continuing, no one is able to go near the rubble to retrieve the girl whom we presume is dead by now,” Khan said of one of the dead. The girl’s mother was also killed in the assault.

Indian troops used heavy machineguns, mortars and medium artillery along the heavily-militarised Line of Control (LoC), which divides the two nuclear rivals from each other in the disputed region. 

Nara village

In a separate incident, a six-year-old boy was killed in Nara village after being hit by mortar shrapnel.

An unidentified 38-year-old man also died in Balakot village where three others - an elderly man and woman and an 11-year-old boy - were critically injured, AFP reported.

Kashmir is in the grip of an anti-Indian rebellion that has left more than 38,000 people dead since 1989 according to Indian government figures. Separatists say the toll is as high as 100,000.

India accuses Pakistan of bankrolling Muslim training camps and arming fighters.

Pakistan has said it provides nothing more than moral support to the militia groups, some of which are fighting for an independent Kashmir and others for unity with Pakistan.

The two countries have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over the region.

"We will take revenge within a week. We will launch fresh suicide attacks."

Jaish-e-Mohammad

In the Nar Dabsi village, an Indian artillery shell levelled a house, burying alive an 18-year-old woman.

Two boys, aged seven and eight years-old respectively, were wounded along with another unidentified man.

Officials said tensions in the area surrounding the LoC remain high despite recent peace initiatives between the South Asian enemies.

More attacks

Meanwhile, a Kashmiri separatist group Friday threatened "martyrdom" attacks to avenge the overnight killing of four members of the same family.

The group claims that security forces have adopted a new policy of exacting revenge on the families of rebels.

“We will take revenge within a week. We will launch fresh martyrdom attacks,” Abu Talha, spokesman for the Jaish-e-Mohammad guerrilla force, told the regional news agency Current News Service.