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India halts work on fence along Bangladesh border

India has suspended the construction of a barbed wire fence along its border with Bangladesh after a bitter dispute over the project, officials said Wednesday.

India and Bangladesh agreed Monday to form a team of experts to determine whether the fence was a defense structure, Indian officials said. (A 1974 agreement between the two countries forbids establishment of defense facilities in the border region.)

Construction would not resume until the experts reached a conclusion, the officials said.

India began fencing the 1,365-mile border in April to curb an alleged influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

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