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India fires missile into Pakistan in error

Pakistani Security men clear the missile from landing point

Pakistani Security men clear the Indian missile from landing point

India said on Friday it had accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan this week because of a “technical malfunction” during routine maintenance.

India stated its version of the missile blunder after Pakistan summoned India’s envoy to protest.

Military experts have in the past warned of the risk of accidents or miscalculations by the nuclear-armed neighbours, which have fought three wars and engaged in numerous smaller armed clashes, usually over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Tensions have eased in recent months, and the incident, which may have been the first of its kind, immediately raised questions about safety mechanisms.

“On 9 March 2022, in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” the Indian Ministry of Defence said in a three-paragraph statement.

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“It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident.”

The ministry said the government had “taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry”.

Pakistani officials said the missile was unarmed and had crashed near the country’s eastern city of Mian Channu, about 500 km (310 miles) from capital Islamabad.

Pakistan’s foreign office summoned India’s charge d’affaires in Islamabad to lodge a protest over what it called an unprovoked violation of its airspace, saying the incident could have endangered passenger flights and civilian lives.

Pakistan warned India “to be mindful of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and take effective measures to avoid the recurrence of such violations in future”.

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