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Pakistani Pilot Dies In Fighter Jet Crash In Islamabad

A plume of smoke and fire are seen coming from the crash site of the jet.
A plume of smoke and fire are seen coming from the crash site of the jet.

ISLAMABAD -- A Pakistani pilot died when his F-16 jet crashed in a wooded area in the capital, Islamabad, the Pakistani Air Force says.

There were no casualties on the ground or damage to property, a statement said on March 11.

The U.S.-built aircraft was taking part in rehearsals ahead of Pakistan Day celebrations on March 23.

Video footage showed the jet appearing to lose control and nose diving before it hit the ground on Shakarparian hill and caught fire.

"I saw the plane flying at a very low altitude from the roof of my house when the plane crashed in Shakarparian," local resident Shoaib Ahmad told dpa.

The military and police cordoned off the area and sealed the roads leading to the site.

The air force said it was investigating the cause of the crash.

Pakistani authorities rarely release details of military training crashes.

In January, an FT-7 jet trainer went down in an open area in the eastern province of Punjab, killing the two pilots.

And at least 18 people died in July 2019 when a Pakistani military aircraft crashed into a residential area on the outskirts of the city of Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa

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