MULTAN, PAKISTAN (AP) — Pakistan’s air force said one if its aircraft crashed during training yesterday in the eastern Punjab province, killing the two pilots.
The FT-7 jet trainer went down in an open area and caused no damage on the ground, the air force statement said.
It said an investigation had been opened to determine the cause of the crash, which took place near the district of Mianwali, 300 kilometres from the city of Lahore.
Pakistani authorities rarely release details of military training crashes, which are relatively common.
Last July, 19 people died when a Pakistani military aircraft crashed into a residential area on the outskirts of the garrison city of Rawalpindi, most of them in their homes.
Pakistan’s air force has been on high alert since last February, when India launched airstrikes inside Pakistan. The strikes targetted Pakistan-based militants responsible for a suicide bombing that killed 40 Indian troops in Indian-administered portion of Kashmir.
At the time, Pakistan retaliated and shot down two Indian air force planes. One Indian pilot was captured and later released. But tensions have continued to remain high between the two nuclear-armed neighbours over the disputed Kashmir region, which is divided between them and claimed by both in its entirety.