For the first time in nearly 30 years,
in May 1999, India launched air strikes against Pakistani-backed
forces that had infiltrated into the mountains in Indian-administered
Kashmir, north of Kargil.
Pakistan responded by putting its troops on high alert as the
fighting built up towards a direct conflict between the two
India repeatedly claimed that Pakistani forces belonging to
the northern light infantry, based in the Pakistani-administered
Northern Areas, were engaged in the operations - a claim Pakistan
Pakistan insisted instead that the forces were "freedom
fighters" fighting for the liberation of Indian-administered
Jammu and Kashmir.
At the height of the conflict, thousands of shells were fired
daily, and India launched hundreds of airstrikes. The Red Cross
reported that at least 30,000 people had been forced to flee
their homes on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control.
Correspondents reported that about 20,000 people became refugees
on the Indian side.
Both sides claimed victory in the conflict, which ended when,
under pressure from the United States, Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif called upon the infiltrating forces to withdraw.
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