Pakistan’s military said on Tuesday that Indian military aircraft crossed into its territory in the disputed Kashmir region and “released a payload” after Pakistan scrambled its own jets, but there was no casualties or damage.
The confrontation follows escalating tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals since the Feb 14 suicide bombing in Kashmir, when 40 Indian paramilitary police were killed by a Pakistani-based militant group. New Delhi blamed Islamabad, which denies having a role in the attack.
“Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector,” Pakistani military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter early on Tuesday, referring to an area in the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir.
Ghafoor said “facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force”, the Indian aircraft “released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.”
Balakot, a town in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, is about 50 km (31 miles) from the Line of Control (LoC), which acts as a de facto border between the two countries that have fought three wars since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947.