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Belarus Mistakes Birds for Enemy Threat

A Belarussian MiG-29 fighter jet like the one that chased after the flock of birds. Dmitriy Pichugin

A Belarussian fighter jet has violated Lithuanian airspace during an investigation into a possible security threat that turned out to be a flock of birds.

Lithuania issued a formal complaint after the Belarussian MiG-29 was detected flying in the Baltic state's airspace around 1:05 p.m. Wednesday.

"The plane stayed above Lithuanian territory for about two minutes," a Lithuanian Foreign Ministry official told the Baltic News Service.

The ministry lodged the complaint with the Belarussian Embassy in Vilnius on Thursday. The note asked Minsk "to provide comprehensive information about the violation of Lithuania's airspace and to take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future," Interfax reported Friday.

In Minsk, the Belarussian Defense Ministry said its radar facilities had detected a possible violations of its country's airspace on Wednesday and it had sent up the MiG-29 to investigate. "The airspace violation was identified as a migratory flock of birds," it said in a statement carried by Interfax.

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