The head of the Pakistani-administered Kashmir region says Indian troops on September 30 shot at his helicopter from across the Line of Control that serves as a de facto border in the disputed region.
Farooq Haider Khan, the prime minister of the Azad Kashmir region that is controlled by Pakistan, said in a statement: “The Indian Army fired to show that Pakistan had violated their airspace.”
Khan said that when the firing took place, his civilian helicopter was “within our own airspace.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Devender Anand, a spokesman for India’s army, confirmed that Indian ground troops fired at a helicopter around noon on September 30.
He said the Pakistani helicopter violated Indian airspace along the Line of Control in the Poonch district of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
“It could likely have been a civilian helicopter,” Anand said. “It was flying very high. The air sentries at a forward location had engaged it with small arms.”
Khan was not injured in the incident, which is likely to further fray relations between Pakistan and India.
Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan has made diplomatic overtures to India since taking office in August, promising to improve ties between Islamabad and New Delhi.
But relations have deteriorated in recent weeks amid high-profile diplomatic disputes.