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Pakistan says missile launched from India lands in its territory

Pakistan has claimed that an unarmed, high-speed missile originating from India violated its airspace before crashing in its territory.

The missile landed in Pakistan on 9 March, Major General Babar Iftikhar, the director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan, said during a press conference in Rawalpindi on 10 March.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) detected the projectile soon after its launch from Sirsa in the Indian state of Punjab at 1843 h local time.

“From its initial course [towards the southwest], the object suddenly manoeuvred towards Pakistani territory and violated Pakistan's airspace, ultimately falling near Mian Channu [in Pakistan's Punjab province] at 6.50 pm,” Maj Gen Iftikhar said.

The PAF's Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Tariq Zia said during the same press conference that the original trajectory of the projectile appeared to indicate that it was headed towards India's Mahajan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan.

He added that the PAF is examining the debris. “We can so far deduce that it was a supersonic missile, an unarmed missile launched from the ground. It was a surface-to-surface missile. Details are yet to come,” said AVM Zia.

The PAF said it detected that the missile was travelling at a speed of Mach 1.3 (about 1,605 km/h) during its “initial” flight phase. At that time, the projectile was within Indian territory, about 104 km from its border with Pakistan.

The missile subsequently accelerated to Mach 2.5 as it reached an altitude of 40,000 feet. It reached a speed of Mach 3 as it entered the Pakistan airspace, the PAF said.

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