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Pompeo Calls On Pakistan, India To Avoid Further Military Action

Pakistani Kashmiris walk past India-bound cargo trucks, parked as road is closed to Indian Kashmir, in the border town of Chakoti at Line of Control in Pakistani Kashmir, February 26, 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on India and Pakistan to avoid further military activity, a day after Indian jets bombed targets in Pakistani controlled territory.

Pompeo's statement, issued February 26, followed the Indian air attack in the disputed Kashmir region. It was the first time in nearly five decades that Indian jets have deliberately entered Pakistani-controlled territory.

In the statement, Pompeo said he had spoken with his Indian and Pakistani counterparts.

"I expressed to both Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both Ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity," he said.

Indian officials said air force jets hit a camp they said was being used by Pakistani-backed militants in the Kashmir region.

Islamabad said the strike hit an empty area, but vowed to respond to what they called India’s “aggression.”

The incident was the latest escalation to follow a February 14 suicide attack that killed at least 41 soldiers on the Indian side of Kashmir.

The Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group claimed responsibility.