India’s aerial bombing of Pakistani territory – the first launched over the disputed ceasefire line in Kashmir since the 1971 war – represents a sharp escalation of tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours. India says 12 Mirage fighter jets, armed with 1,000kg laser-guided bombs, targeted a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group in Balakot, killing 300 militants.
Pakistan says the strikes hit an empty area but has vowed to respond. India accuses Pakistan of allowing militant groups to operate on its territory and says Pakistani security agencies played a role in the suicide attack on 14 February, which was claimed by JeM and killed 40 Indian troops. Both India and Pakistan claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir, but control only parts of it. The nuclear-armed nations have fought three wars and a limited conflict since independence from Britain in 1947 - and all but one were over Kashmir.