A five-year-old Pakistani girl was killed on Saturday after she was hit in the head by a bullet fired by Indian troops across the border in disputed Kashmir, officials said.    

The incident took place in Polas village at Abbaspur sector on the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing Kashmir between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India.    

"A five-year-old girl was walking outside her house when a lone bullet fired by Indian troops pierced through her head," official Tahir Mumtaz told AFP news agency.

The girl was rushed to hospital but died on the way, he said, adding villagers held a protest and condemned the shooting on the day they were celebrating Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival of sacrifice.    

Another official, Sardar Sajid, confirmed the death.    

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in full.    

The neighbours regularly exchange mortar fire across the border despite signing a ceasefire in 2003. 

Tensions reached dangerous levels last September, with both sides blaming one another for cross-border raids.

Rebel groups have for decades fought the more than 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the restive territory, demanding independence or a merger of the former Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.  

Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.

Source: AFP news agency