Asia: Run-In on the Rann

Through an accident of onomatopoeia, the Rann of Kutch* looks just like it sounds. A reeking reach of black tidal mudflats bounded with sand dunes and etched by dead streams of salt and scum, it was until recently of interest only to hardy naturalists in search of the lesser flamingo and herds of wild asses. But the Rann separates India and Pakistan, and that fact alone was sufficient last week to make it another of the world's dangerous little flash points.

Sweeping over a sandy escarpment called "God's Dyke" on the Rann's northern lip, a brigade of Pakistani infantry crushed...

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