World, Asia - Pacific

Pakistan claims shooting down Indian quadcopter

Indian Army rejects claim, says Islamabad 'may have shot down their own'

Aamir Latif   | 09.04.2020
Pakistan claims shooting down Indian quadcopter Photo Credit: Inter-Services Public Relations

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan Army on Thursday claimed to have shot down an Indian quadcopter that "intruded" into its airspace along the disputed Kashmir border.

It said that the quadcopter was shot down after it "intruded 600 meters inside Pakistan’s territory for conducting surveillance" along the Line of Control (LoC) -- a de facto border that divides the disputed Himalayan valley between the two nuclear rivals.

"Indian quadcopter airspace violation in Sankh Sector along the LoC today. This blatant act was aggressively responded to by Pakistan Army troops shooting down Indian quadcopter," read a statement by the army's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations.

"Such unwarranted acts by Indian Army are clear violation of established norms, existing air agreement between the two countries, and reflect Indian Army’s consistent disregard to Ceasefire Understanding of 2003," the communique added.

Indian Army, however, rejected the claim.

"The quadcopter is not ours, they [Pakistan] may have shot down their own," a spokesperson of Indian Army told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity.

"Such a toy is available in the open market at a very low cost," said the spokesperson.

The incident comes at a time when the two neighbors are battling coronavirus, the infection that has led to thousands of deaths worldwide.

Jammu and Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts, and claimed by both in full. A small sliver is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with the neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have been killed and tortured in the conflict that flared up in 1989.

*Cheena Kapoor from New Delhi, India contributed to this report.

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