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Senior Pakistani and Indian military officials have spoken to each other in the first high-level contact between the two neighbors since recent border clashes erupted in the disputed Kashmir region.

In a hotline call on October 14, Pakistani officials said military operations directors from Pakistan and India discussed ways to reduce tension along the de facto border in Kashmir.

The Pakistani Army official was quoted as conveying concern over Indian border guards' "consistent unprovoked firing” on the civil population.

Some 20 civilians have been killed on both sides of the border since cross-border firing and shelling between the two countries started on October 5 -- the most serious violation of a 2003 cease-fire.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars since 1947 over their competing claims to the Himalayan region.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and