At least four Indian soldiers on border patrol have been killed by Pakistani fire on the de facto border of the disputed region Kashmir.

Pakistani soldiers fired along the highly militarised border and targeted Indian posts in the Rajouri sector, violating the 2003 ceasefire accord, the Indian army said in a statement on Saturday (23 December).

The army called the firing an "unprovoked ceasefire violation."

A spokesperson for the Pakistani army did not immediately react to this accusation.

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh paid rich tributes to the slain soldiers and condemned Pakistan for the ceasefire violation.

"Pakistan is a terrorist state and it will not be too long before the country is declared a terrorist state by the world. It does not only support terrorism but also provide state sponsorship," Singh said, according to Zee News.

Tensions between Pakistan and India have been running high in the Himalayan territory for a long time.

India and Pakistan have fought three major wars since their independence from Britain in 1947. Two of the conflicts were centred in the disputed valley of Kashmir.

Last year, Pakistani and Indian soldiers engaged in some of the worst fighting along the border since they agreed to the ceasefire accord in 2003.

Earlier this month a Pakistani official warned that a nuclear conflict in the region "cannot be ruled out" and that stability "hangs in a delicate balance."

"The stability of the South Asian region hangs in a delicate balance, and the possibility of nuclear war cannot be ruled out," he said. "India has been stockpiling a range of dangerous weapons, as it threatens Pakistan continuously in conventional warfare."