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Villagers in Kashmir in fear as India-Pakistan conflict heats up

Kashmir residents said they feared further firing and mortar shelling, a day after India and Pakistan downed enemy jets across the disputed border.

The latest escalation marks a sudden deterioration in relations between the two countries. As recently as November, Pakistan’s leader Khan spoke of “mending ties” with India.

The Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir has been at the heart of more than 70 years of animosity, since the partition of the British colony of India into the separate countries of Muslim Pakistan and majority Hindu India.

Tensions have been elevated since a suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on February 14.

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