India claims to have fired missiles at intruding Paki aircraft

 

Dron

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India Says It Fired on Pakistan Aircraft


JAMMU, India (Reuters) - Indian forces Monday opened fire on two Pakistan reconnaissance aircraft to chase them out of its airspace in the troubled state of Kashmir, defense officials said.

However, a spokesman for Pakistan's defense ministry said after checks that he was unaware of any incident and would not have anything further to say unless India made a formal complaint about a border violation.

Defense officials in both Kashmir's winter capital, Jammu, and in New Delhi said that ground troops had opened fire after two Pakistan aircraft had crossed the Line of Control which divides the territory.

It would be the first such air incident since August 1999 and comes as the Indian government considers whether to extend a nearly three-month-old cease-fire against militants in Kashmir, due to expire on February 26.

``They crossed the Line of Control and flew over our territory and were fired upon by the ground troops before being forced to cross to their own territory,'' one defense official told Reuters.

He said the incident took place at 2 p.m. at the Chamb sector, around 40 miles west of Jammu.

``We immediately engaged them from the ground with small arms and forced them to return to their territory,'' he said. ''We are lodging a strong protest with Pakistan for violating Indian air space.''

Another official said he believe one of the aircraft may have been damaged. The two aircraft had strayed a few hundred yards into Indian airspace, he said.

Nuclear rivals India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.

India, which controls 45 percent of the troubled Kashmir region, accuses Pakistan stoking separatist rebellion. Islamabad denies the charge.

Authorities say more than 30,000 people have been killed since 1990 in India's only Muslim-majority state.

In the last air incident in August 1999, Indian fighter planes shot down a Pakistan naval aircraft which India said had violated its airspace. Pakistan denied at the time having crossed into Indian airspace.

 

Dron

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All members of the air defense personel in Kashmir and Dzhammu states of India are on high-state of alert as of February 19 following an unprovoked instrusion of two Pakistan reconnaissance planes deep into Indian air space. Indian forces have urgently relocated additional SAM regiments into the area.

On February 19, two "Mushak" aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force abused air space sovereignity of India over the Chamb sector. Indian military officials said that the defensive SAM fire have driven trespassers away. It's believed that one of two aircraft was severely damaged. However, both were granted mercy and allowed to retreat back. Same day Islamabad have officially denied intrusion of its aircraft in India.

On February 20, Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it will file official note of protest either through Pakistan ambassador or Indian embassy in Islamabad. Minister of Defense George Fernandes will comment in parliament on the accident at the end of the week. // RIA Novosti

picture taken from: http://wahcantt100.users3.50megs.com/images/airforce/GalleryEight.html

[Edited by Dron, 22-02-2001]
 

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