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DATE=5/28/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-249946 TITLE=INDIA / PAK / U-S REACT (L-O) BYLINE=KYLE KING DATELINE=STATE DEPARTMENT CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE UNITED STATES IS EXPRESSING CONCERN THAT CLASHES ALONG THE DISPUTED KASHMIR REGION BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN COULD SPIN OUT OF CONTROL. FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT, V-O-A'S KYLE KING REPORTS. TEXT: THE EXPRESSIONS OF U-S CONCERN CAME AS PAKISTANI-BASED KASHMIRI MILITANT GROUPS CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DOWNING OF AN INDIAN ARMY HELICOPTER ON FRIDAY. THE HELICOPTER WAS APPARENTLY HIT BY A MISSILE AS INDIAN ARMY TROOPS CLASHED FOR A THIRD DAY WITH MUSLIM MILITANTS DUG IN ON THE INDIAN SIDE OF THE DISPUTED KASHMIRI BORDER. THURSDAY PAKISTANI GUNNERS SHOT DOWN AT LEAST ONE OF TWO INDIAN MIG FIGHTERS THAT CRASHED DURING ATTACKS ON MUSLIM MILITANT POSITIONS. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN SAYS THE UNITED STATES HAS EXPRESSED ITS CONCERNS ABOUT THE FIGHTING DIRECTLY TO INDIA AND PAKISTAN. // RUBIN ACT // WE THINK BOTH SIDES, BOTH INDIA AND PAKISTAN, SHOULD SHOW RESTRAINT, UNDERSTANDING THE GRAVE RISKS THAT THEY ARE POSING TO THEIR PEOPLE AND THE WORLD BY THE POTENTIAL FOR AN ESCALATION AND BOTH SIDES SHOULD SHOW GREAT RESTRAINT IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS. // END ACT // U-S OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN CAUTIOUS TO AVOID POINTING THE FINGER OF BLAME AT EITHER SIDE FOR STARTING THE LATEST SKIRMISHES. INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE FOUGHT SEVERAL WARS OVER CONTROL OF KASHMIR. ANALYSTS SAY THE LATEST FIGHTING IS THE FIRST SERIOUS TEST OF THE ABILITY OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN TO DE-ESCALATE A SERIOUS MILITARY CLASH SINCE THEY BECAME NUCLEAR POWERS. U-S OFFICIALS SAY BOTH COUNTRIES NEED TO WORK TO PREVENT ANY MISUNDERSTANDINGS THAT COULD LEAD TO A FAR MORE DANGEROUS CONFLICT. (SIGNED) NEB/KBK/JO 28-May-99 4:36 PM EDT (2036 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .