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December 25, 2012

Pakistan, India Begin First Cricket Series in 5 Years

by VOA News

Pakistan has beaten India in the opening match of their first bilateral cricket series in five years.

The Pakistanis defeated India by five wickets Tuesday at Chinnaswamy Stadium in the Indian city of Bangalore.

Security was tight for the opening match, with thousands of paramilitary soldiers and police positioned outside the stadium and surveillance cameras monitoring activity in and around the venue.

Fans underwent body searches and went through metal detectors before being allowed to pass through.

The cricket series includes five matches (two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals) and is seen as part of a gradual thaw in relations between Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed rivals.

Bilateral ties were frozen four years ago after Pakistani-based gunmen carried out terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India that killed 166 people.

India has blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the siege.  It claims the attacks were carried out with state support from Pakistan -- a charge Islamabad denies.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.