Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf offered to hold face-to-face peace talks with India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to resolve their military standoff, as fierce fighting continued between the two nations in the region of Kashmir.
The U.S. State Dept. urged some 60,000 Americans and its nonessential diplomatic staff to leave India on Friday, citing increased conflict along the Pakistani border.
President Bush announced Thursday he is sending Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to the Asian subcontinent to try to quell tensions heightened by fighting in the disputed province of Kashmir.
Officials in India called Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's speech on the military standoff over Kashmir "disappointing and dangerous" and accused Pakistan of further heightening tensions between the neighboring nuclear rivals.
Following a weekend of missile tests and tough talk, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said Monday that his nation would not start a war with neighboring India, but would respond with "full might" should India launch an attack.
As nearly one million Indian and Pakistani troops continued to mass along the border and near the disputed region of Kashmir, India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee rallied his troops to be ready for war.
India and Pakistan exchanged heavy mortar and machinegun fire along their border and in the disputed Kashmir province Tuesday, as a key Kashmiri separatist was gunned down.
At least nine more people died in Western India Monday as a result of continuing violence between Hindus and Muslims that has left more than 570 dead in six days.
The Indian government has deployed troops to the western state of Gujarat to quell a third day of violence between Hindus and Muslims.
Mobs of angry Hindus rampaged through the western Indian state Gujarat, killing at least 58 Muslims in retaliation for an attack yesterday that left nearly 60 Hindus dead.
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