- JAMMU, India (Reuters) -
Indian and Pakistani troops fired mortars and heavy machineguns at each
other across the frontier in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir
as the nuclear rivals struggle to avert war.
- Indian police said Wednesday the exchanges were intense
across both the Indian-Pakistan border and also the cease-fire line
the two armies in the frontline state.
- ``It was an unprovoked firing from across the border
last night to which our troops responded effectively,'' a senior police
official told Reuters, adding no deaths were reported.
- Several people have been killed in daily firefights in
Kashmir since tensions flared after the December 13 suicide attack on
parliament, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based Islamic militants
fighting its rule in Kashmir.
- Both sides have heavily reinforced their 3,310 km (2,070
mile) border stretching from Kashmir to the Arabian Sea and India has not
ruled out military strikes if Pakistan does not meet its demand to wipe
out the two Kashmiri groups blamed for the parliamentary attack.
- India has welcomed Pakistan's detention of two key
and several other members of the rebel groups, but it is not yet clear
if that will be enough to defuse the crisis which has raised fears of a
fourth war between the regional giants.
- Leaders from both nations are due in Nepal for a regional
summit from Friday, but it remains unclear if they will meet separately
on the sidelines over the latest crisis.
- India and Pakistan have fought three wars since
from Britain in 1947 -- two of them over Kashmir.