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U.S. remains concerned about India-Pakistan tensions - officials

U.S. remains concerned about India-Pakistan tensions - officials
FILE PHOTO: A Holika Dahan effigy of Masood Azhar, the head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), is seen before getting burnt on the eve of Holi in Mumbai, India, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas   -   Copyright  Francis Mascarenhas(Reuters)
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By Jonathan Landay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States remains concerned about India-Pakistan tensions as the two nuclear-armed countries’ militaries remain on alert despite some de-escalation in the region, a senior U.S. administration official said on Wednesday.

“We do still see the militaries on alert and so we realise if there, God forbid, would be another terrorist attack, then you could quickly see escalation in the situation once again,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, which both claim, make the area one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints.

The simmering dispute erupted into conflict late last month when Indian and Pakistani warplanes engaged in a dogfight over Kashmir on Feb. 27, a day after a raid by Indian jet fighters on what it said was a militant camp in Pakistan. Islamabad denied any militant camp exists in the area, and said the Indian bombs exploded on an empty hillside.

In their first such clash since the last war between the two nations in 1971, Pakistan downed an Indian plane and captured its pilot after he ejected in the Pakistan-controlled section of Kashmir.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; writing by Doina Chiacu; editing by David Alexander and Jonathan Oatis)

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