IAF jets scramble to push back PAF fighters

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New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) scrambled fighter jets on Monday morning after four Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets and a UAV were spotted flying close to the Punjab border.

Around 3 a.m., the IAF Su-30 MKIs and Mirage-2000s went airborne after the flying activities were detected across the border in the Khemkaran sector, forcing the PAF aircraft to retreat.

Informed sources said the PAF aircraft included four F-16s and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It was not clear if they intended to cross the border.

This is the first time since February 27 when fighter jets from either side of the border came close to each other.

The IAF had shot down an F-16 on February 27 after a large package of PAF fighters tried to enter Indian air space in the Rajouri area of the Line of Control (LoC) and fired on Indian military installations.

An IAF Mig-21 got hit in a dogfight and its pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured by Pakistan.

The pilot was returned, easing tensions but the two sides have remained in high state of alert with force mobilization across land, air and sea.

Pakistan’s air space continues to be restricted as no commercial air traffic to and from India is being allowed.

–IANS

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