Srinagar (India), Feb 27 : Six Air Force officers and a civilian were killed after an Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-17 chopper crashed in an open field near Garend Kalaan village in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.
The aircraft MI-17 crashed in an open field near Garend Kalaan village in Budgam at 10:05 am, officials said. It broke into two and caught fire immediately, senior officials said.
The civilian who died has been identified as Kifayat Hussain Ganaie, a local resident, while the identity of the six IAF personnel is still being ascertained.
Hours after the crash, India said an Air Force pilot is “missing in action” after an Indian Air Force aircraft shot down a Pakistani jet that was targeting installations in India. The statement from the foreign ministry came after Pakistan claimed “strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace”. Pakistan has claimed that the MiG 21 pilot is in their custody.
The crash took place as Indian soldiers and Pakistan Rangers are engaged in heavy shelling and firing at LoC after IAF fighter jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, around 80 kilometres from the Line of Control.