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Indian Su-30MKI Jets Force Pakistani F-16s to Retreat to Own Airspace - Source

© AFP 2023 / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR Indian Air Force Su-30MKI
Indian Air Force Su-30MKI - Sputnik International
The Indian Air Force (IAF) detected four Pakistani F-16 fighter jets and an armed drone near the international border with Pakistan on Monday morning in the Khemkaran sector of Punjab.

New Delhi (Sputnik): Defence sources told Sputnik that the IAF scrambled Su-30MKI and Mirage 2000 jets to intercept Pakistani warplanes, forcing them to return to their airspace immediately.

READ MORE: Leading From Rear Cockpit': IAF Chief Takes Jibe at His Pakistani Counterpart

"Indian radars detected the movement of the four Pakistani F-16 fighter jets at around 0300 hrs local time on Monday, in response; the Indian Air Force scrambled its Sukhoi Su-30MKI and Mirage-2000 fighter jets immediately," source added. 

The Indian Army and the IAF have remained on high alert after Indian intelligence warned about a possible deployment of armed drones and increased activities of the PAF along the international border since mid-March.

Pakistan Air Force Chengdu JF-17 - Sputnik International
Indian Air Force on High Alert After 2 Pakistani Jets Fly Near Border - Report
Over the last weeks, six Pakistani drones have entered the area. Earlier, the Indian Army shot down two Pakistani UAVs in Sri Ganganagar after they reportedly violated Indian airspace.

On 4 March, a Pakistani drone which tried to infiltrate the Bikaner sector of Rajasthan was shot down by an air-to-air missile fired from an Indian Su-30 fighter jet. On 27 February, the Indian Army shot down a Pakistani drone along the India-Pakistan border in Kutch in the state of Gujarat, which shares a border with Pakistan.

READ MORE: Pakistan Deploys Entire F-16 Squadron on Indian Border — Report

Tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours escalated in mid-February when a terrorist attack killed at least 40 Indian soldiers in the Pulwama district of Kashmir. On 27 February the two countries engaged in their first aerial clash in last five decades, a day after the IAF conducted an air strike against alleged terrorist infrastructure in Balakot, Pakistan.

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