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

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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.

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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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