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India, Pakistan exchange border fire

By CNN Producer Syed Naqvi

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Indian and Pakistani troops have exchanged fire across their common border, at a time of increasing diplomatic and military tension between the nuclear powers.

Indian troops opened fire over the Sialkop Border in Pakistan's Punjab province Sunday, witnesses said, hitting and destroying a tractor and its trailer.

Pakistani troops returned fire, witnesses said.

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Three villagers who were loading hay at the time escaped unhurt.

Both sides were using light artillery, witnesses said.

They reported unusually large troop movements along the border areas, but many residents near where Sunday's clash took place said they had no plans to evacuate.

Elsewhere, Indian army officials said three border security force men were killed and two were wounded Sunday when Pakistani army soldiers opened fire on an Indian border post in Kashmir.

It happened at 9:15 a.m. Sunday (11:15 p.m. Saturday ET) in the Samba region of Jammu and Kashmir, Indian officials said.

The incident could not be independently confirmed.

Friction between New Delhi and Islamabad increased after an attack December 13 on the Indian parliament, which Indian officials blame on two militant groups based in Pakistan.

India recalled its top diplomat Friday to Islamabad, blaming Pakistan for not arresting leaders of the militant groups or freezing their financial assets.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said it regretted India's decision.

CNN Producer Suhasini Haidar contributed to this report.


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