Civilians die in India, Pakistan clashes

8 killed in India-Pakistan fighting amid high tensions

In Indian-administered Kashmir, troops on Sunday shot dead two militants after a three-day gun battle that also killed five security force personnel, taking the total death toll to 25 in the past two weeks.

The US State Department is investigating claims Pakistan improperly used a US-supplied F-16 jet against India this week, Indian media claims.

Both leaders also "reiterated their commitment" to the UK-Pakistan bilateral relationship during the interaction, which follows heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following a terrorist attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

Indore: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh praised Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for returning the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to India without "bargaining" for which he faced "ire" from ISI and Pakistan Army. Kashmir has already been the site of two wars between India and Pakistan.

In Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, government official Umar Azam said that Indian troops with heavy weapons "indiscriminately targeted border villagers" along the Line of Control, killing a boy and wounding three other people.

The Pakistani army said in a statement that two of its soldiers were killed in Nakiyal in an "exchange of fire while targeting Indian posts undertaking firing on civilian population". But India has been less impressed - accusing Pakistan of breaching the Geneva Convention.

Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi boycotted the meeting in protest over the invitation to his Indian counterpart.

Worldwide and domestic air travel in the region has been widely disrupted, with several airports in Pakistan and India shut, flights rerouted and suspended, amid fears of a major military escalation between the South Asian nations.

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On Twitter in Pakistan, #PakSymbolofPeace was trending, while in India the top trend was #PakistanJihad.

According to Pentagon's Defense Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA) F-16 jets were meant to be used to "enhance Pakistan's ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter terrorism operations".

Pakistan had released Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday who was captured when his MiG 21 Bison aircraft was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force for violating the Pakistani airspace.

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.

On both sides of Kashmir, thousands of people have fled to government-run temporary shelters or relatives' homes in safer areas to escape deadly and relentless shelling along the frontier.

On the Indian side, a woman and her 2 children died after their house was pulverized by a mortar shell.

In Pakistani-administered Kashmir, many displaced families urged the global community to help resolve the issue of Kashmir so that they can live peacefully. A further clash on Wednesday led to the capture of an Indian pilot by Pakistan.

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