• Desmond Latham

Pakistan air space shut down after Indian attack


Pakistan authorities have effectively shut down their air space after Indian jets launched a surprise raid across the border ostensibly targeting what New Delhi said was a militant camp.

Early on the morning of 26th February 2019, Indian F-16 fighter jets reportedly swooped on a training camp staffed by Pakistan-backed separatist rebels and destroyed the complex.

While Pakistan has not released the number of casualties, its believed there were up to 300 militants in the camp at at the time of the attack.

The air-to-ground strike has led to warnings that the two countries are close to an all-out war, worrying observers as both have nuclear weapons.

Only one commercial operation was spotted departing Pakistan air space on Wednesday 27th February - an Oman bound Boeing 737-91M.

All other flights are maintaining a wide berth as the image below taken from FlightRadar24.

Also on Wednesday, Pakistan said it had carried out a number of its own air strikes and claimed it shot down two Indian jets. This is the worst violence reported between these two countries since a border war in 1971. Flights on the Indian side of the border are also being conducted far East of their normal routes in order to avoid possible targeting by Pakistani military authorities.

Tension between the two escalated after a suicide bombing inside Indian-controlled Kashmir on February 14 that killed at least 40 paramilitary police traveling in a bus. A suicide bomber drove a vehicle loaded with 300kg of explosives into the side of the bus, leaving a large hole in the road outside the capital, Amritsar.

Commercial Air traffic turning around after the attack on Pakistan by Indian warplanes.

Indian police say they've identified the man as a Pakistani national who they say was trained inside Pakistan at the military camp they hit by warplanes on Tuesday. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) later claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

But the latest round of violence between the two countries has led to calls for both sides to pull back from all out conflict.

“India and Pakistan are both important countries in South Asia. Sound relations and cooperation serve the interest of both countries for peace and stability in South Asia,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The EU has also asked both sides to avoid further clashes after the Indian air attack.

"We remain in contact with both countries and what we believe is essential is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions," the EU said through a spokesperson.

#IndiaPakistanKashmir #Pakistan #Kashmir

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