Pakistan army says Indian spy drone shot down in Kashmir

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan’s military on Sunday said it shot down a small Indian spy drone that flew hundreds of meters into Pakistani-administered Kashmir, the ninth such downing of an Indian drone this year.

The military statement said the drone was shot down in the Hot Spring border village of Kashmir, the disputed Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety. There was no immediate comment from India.

Pakistan often claims the downing of unmanned Indian spy drones in Kashmir, where the two sides often trade fire as well.

The latest development comes two weeks after India and China clashed along a different disputed border high in the Himalayas, leaving 20 Indian soldiers dead. Pakistan blames New Delhi for escalating tensions with China, a longtime friend of Islamabad.

Relations between Pakistan and India have been strained over Kashmir since last August, when New Delhi revoked Muslim-majority Kashmir’s decades-old semi-autonomous status, touching off anger in Indian-controlled Kashmir and in Pakistan.

The two countries have been on maximum alert since February 2019, when Pakistan said it shot down two Indian warplanes in Kashmir and captured a pilot, in response to an airstrike by Indian aircraft targeting militants inside Pakistan. India said the strikes targeted Pakistan-based militants responsible for a suicide bombing that killed 40 Indian troops in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

Since gaining independence from British rule in 1947, the the two nuclear-armed neighbors have fought two wars over Kashmir.