6 IAF personnel, civilian killed in helicopter crash in Budgam

February 27, 2019 11:47 am | Updated 08:22 pm IST - Srinagar

Six Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel, including the pilot and the co-pilot, and a civilian were killed in the Mi-17 V5 helicopter crash in Budgam on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, two Jaish-e-Muhammad militants were killed in an encounter in Shopian.

According to the IAF statement, the IAF helicopter got airborne from the Srinagar airfield at 10 a.m. for a routine mission and crashed around 10:10 a.m. at Budgam’s Garend Kalaan village.

“All six air warriors onboard the helicopter suffered fatal injuries. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the accident,” said the statement.

The police said one civilian, Kifayat Ganaie, was also killed in the crash.

Initial reports suggested it developed a technical snag in the air and swirled to the ground.

The location in Budgam is not far way from the Srinagar airport. Locals told  The Hindu  they heard two loud explosions and a fire of ball emerging from an open field, with a residential colony nearby. Locals rushed to the spot and video-graphed the incident on the mobile phones. 

2 Jaish militants killed in encounter

Meanwhile, the police said two Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were killed in an operation.

“Based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Shopian’s Memender, an operation was launched. The search party was fired and two militants were killed in retaliatory fire,” said the police.

The slain militants were identified as Suhail Nazir Mir from Shopian’s Saidapora-Payeen and another as foreigner from Pakistan. “They were involved in conspiring and executing several  militant attacks,” said the police.

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