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Tension deepened still further between the US and Pakistan Thursday as the latter's Army said its troops fired on more helicopters crossing the border with Afghanistan. In a statement, it accused the "foreign" aircraft of being "well within" Pakistani territory at the time and said they had returned fire. The Pentagon acknowledged that the helicopters were American and had come under fire but said "at no point" were they over Pakistani soil. Pakistan, it said, needs to explain why the incident occurred.

In a joint statement issued Thursday, the leaders of India and Pakistan said "violence, hostility, and terrorism have no place in the vision they share" of a bilateral relationship.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and new President Asif Ali Zardari, respectively, agreed that their foreign ministers should meet within 90 days to try to further the peace process that has been sidetracked by more than two dozen incidents of cross-border violence this year. Two trade routes across the Line of Division are scheduled to open Oct. 21.


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