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India, Pakistan Trade Heavy Artillery Fire

Indian and Pakistani border guards exchanged heavy artillery fire across the divided Himalayan state of Kashmir, killing 14 Pakistani villagers and wounding 40 in two days of fighting, Pakistani military officials said Sunday.

Most of the injured were in serious condition, said the officials, who spoke on condition of customary anonymity. They said most casualties came from the village of Muzaffarabad and the Neelam Valley sector, which have been under heavy fire for the past two days.

There was no official comment in New Delhi. Indian newspapers reported that two Indian soldiers and three villagers were killed in the clash.

Border clashes are routine across the disputed border. The latest fighting came less than two weeks after a prolonged gunbattle killed five people.

The neighbors have fought two wars over Kashmir since both gained independence from Britain 50 years ago. Repeated attempts to improve relations have faltered.

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