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World

Web Desk
October 4, 2019

India admits Mi-17 chopper was shot down by friendly fire

World

Web Desk
Fri, Oct 04, 2019
Indian Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria. File photo

NEW DELHI: India's Air Force chief has finally admitted that its Mi-17 chopper, which crashed near Srinagar on February 27 this year, came down after its own missile mistakenly hit it.

"Court of Inquiry completed and it was our mistake as our missile had hit our own chopper," Indian Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria told the ANI news agency on Friday.

Investigators had earlier found that the Indian air defence missile was fired shortly before the crash of the Mi-17 V5 helicopter in Budgam near Srinagar. But the Indian Air Force had yet to accept its own fault.

"We will take action against two officers. We accept this was our big mistake and we will ensure such mistakes are not repeated in future," Bhadauria said.

At least seven people, including six security forces personnel, reportedly died when the helicopter crashed in the Indian occupied Kashmir region on February 27.

The incident had taken place during a period of heightened India-Pakistan tensions, the same day that the Pakistan Air Force shot down an Indian aircraft when it intruded into Pakistani airspace.

Pakistan later handed over the arrested Indian air force pilot as a goodwill gesture.