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Fighting on India-Pakistan border intensifies, 5 killed

Cross-border firings have been reported all week.

By Ed Adamczyk

NEW DELHI, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Five more civilians were killed in shelling and gunfire across the India-Pakistan border in the disputed Kashmir and Jammu regions.

Indian officials reported two were killed and 18 wounded, and Pakistani media reported three deaths. Over 20,000 residents of 30 villages have been evacuated from the Indian side of the border, and shelling from Pakistan has continued, Indian authorities said, despite a cease-fire.

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Nine civilians were killed Monday, the highest one-day casualty total in the area since 2003. Cross-border shooting began this week after a month's calm. United Nations observers have monitored the situation, causing Pakistan's U.N. ambassador, Masood Khan, to tell the U.N. Security Council Tuesday the observers "must be enabled to play its role in monitoring the ceasefire."

Arup Raha, India's top military official, said India is seeking a quick end to the current conflict.

"The government is taking it seriously, we want a quick resolution of this problem, we want peace and tranquility."

India's cancellation of talks with Pakistan last month, after Pakistan held high-level talks with Kashmir separatists, led to an increase in tensions in Kashmir.

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