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Technical fault causes Indian missile to crash in Pakistan, says MoD in New Delhi

The Indian government has acknowledged that the crash of a supersonic missile in Pakistan was because of a technical malfunction.

The high-speed missile – launched on 9 March – travelled a distance of about 200 km, following its launch from Sirsa, Haryana, in India, before falling near Mian Channu in Pakistan's Punjab province.

In a statement issued on 11 March, India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said, β€œIn the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile. The Government of India has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level court of enquiry. It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident.”

Indian media has reported that the missile launch coincided with a Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI) at an Indian airbase in northern India. However, the MoD did not confirm this to Janes .

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said it acknowledged India's admission of the incident. However, the MoFA added that it raised several questions about Indian military protocols and safeguards.

β€œThe grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against accidental or unauthorised launch of missiles in a nuclearised environment. Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities,” the MoFA said.

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