The Indian army accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan, which caused no loss of life, the Indian Defense Ministry announced Friday, calling the act « deeply regrettable. »
« As part of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile » on Wednesday and it landed in « an area of Pakistan, » the ministry said in a statement. « The fact that there was no loss of life due to the accident is a relief, » it adds.
India, a predominantly Hindu country, and Pakistan, a Muslim country, have fought three wars since the end of British colonization in 1947, including two over the disputed territory of Kashmir. The two countries maintain a strong military presence on both sides of their shared border, and flare-ups have gone so far as to raise fears of a nuclear confrontation.
« Unjustified violation »
The Indian Defense Ministry’s statement comes hours after the Pakistani Foreign Ministry condemned what it called « an unjustified violation » of Pakistani airspace « by a ‘supersonic flying object’ of Indian origin. »
The Pakistani ministry added that it had summoned the Indian chargé d’affaires in Islamabad, who had received a « strong protest ».
This « reckless firing » has damaged buildings on the ground and endangered civilian lives as well as aircraft in Pakistani airspace, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry added, accusing India of being « insensitive to regional peace and stability.