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India shuts down airports in Indian-controlled Kashmir, Amritsar amid tension with Pakistan

Staff Writer |
Indian authorities Wednesday ordered closure of airports for civilian aeroplanes in Indian-controlled Kashmir and Amritsar of Punjab state in wake of the growing tension with neighboring Pakistan, officials said.

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"The air traffic of civilian flights in all the airports here including Srinagar and Jammu have been suspended," an official in Srinagar said, adding that "the civilian aeroplanes that are parked here will not be allowed to take off until further orders."

Earlier on Wednesday a pilot and a co-pilot of Indian Air Force (IAF) were reported to be killed after an Mi-17 jet crashed in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Pakistan army said its air force shot down two Indian fighter jets inside Pakistani airspace, adding one of the aircraft fell inside Pakistan-administered Kashmir while the other fell inside Indian-controlled Kashmir.

On Tuesday, Pakistani army said Indian fighter jets violated the Line of Control (LoC) and released payloads in the Pakistani side.

India claimed that its air force had targeted a camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad group in Tuesday's attack. The group was blamed for the Feb. 14 suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed some 40 Indian paramilitary troopers.

Private airlines have issued statements about cancellation of flights after the decision to shutdown the airports.

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