India claims shooting down Pakistani drone: Report

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India claims shooting down Pakistani drone: Report

AHMEDABAD: India’s air force on Tuesday claimed shooting down a drone near the frontier with Pakistan, officers said, just hours after its warplanes were chased away by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets for violating the Pakistani airspace.

Indian villagers reportedly discovered debris from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) not far from the Pakistan border in western Gujarat state, police sources told *AFP*.

“A UAV has been shot down by the armed forces. We are investigating it,” a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity.

Investigators would probe whether the drone came from Pakistan, he added. The nuclear-armed rivals frequently claim to have shot down surveillance craft that strayed into each other’s territory.

The police officer said villagers in Kutch district — a remote desert region — heard a “loud noise” in the early hours of Tuesday.

He did not elaborate further about the downing of the done or its origins, citing “security concerns”.

Pakistan Army has strongly rubbished Indian claims of an attack on Pakistani soil which New Delhi said had resulted in “heavy casualties”.

“Not even a single brick or debris is present there. They are claiming 350 deaths. Even had there been 10 casualties, there would be blood, funeral prayers, injuries,” Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

The military spokesman refuted claims that PAF was not ready to deal with any Indian misadventure. “We were ready, we responded, we denied,” he said. “It is your [India] turn now to wait and get ready for our surprise.”

New Delhi said their warplanes destroyed a training base used by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the same group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in occupied Kashmir earlier in the month that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary troopers.

New Delhi said a “very large number” of JeM militants were killed in the strike on the camp, where it alleges fighters were planning further attacks on India.

Pakistan rejected the claims, saying its fighters scrambled to force the Indian jets back, which dropped payloads as they escaped. - APP/AFP