Indian and Pakistani forces fired mortars and artillery across their ceasefire line in disputed Kashmir on Friday as international pressure mounted on the nuclear neighbours to avert war.
The shooting came after US President George W. Bush decided to send Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to both nations next week to ease tensions stoked by a May 14 raid on an army camp in Indian Kashmir. New Delhi blamed Pakistan-based militants for that attack.
"Until four in the morning, there were heavy artillery and mortar duels... However, the intensity of fire has considerably come down now," a defence official told Reuters.
He said no deaths were reported. India and Pakistan also exchanged routine small arms and heavy machine gun fire in other places along the international border and the ceasefire line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
The two countries have deployed about a million men on their border since a December attack on India's parliament New Delhi blamed on Pakistani-based militants fighting its rule in Kashmir.
(China Daily May 31, 2002)