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Russia Diverts Flights From India-Pakistan Airspace After Planes Shot Down

Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Russia’s aviation authority has told airlines to avoid flying over India and Pakistan after at least two military planes were shot down in the area, Russian media have reported.

India and Pakistan shot down each other's fighter jets on Wednesday, a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a war between the two countries in 1971. Russia joined other leading powers in urging the nuclear-armed countries to show restraint.

International airlines that fly between Indian and Pakistani airspace, including Aeroflot, have been forced to reroute, according to flightradar24.com, which tracks the movement of planes globally.

The Rosaviatsia state aviation agency sent a letter informing Russian airlines of total or partial airspace closures over the countries, the RBC news website reported Wednesday, citing an unnamed source close to an airline.

The agency recommended for Russian airlines to avoid Indian, Pakistani and Afghan airspace “due to the geopolitical situation on the Indian subcontinent.”

An unnamed source at a Russian airline told the state-run TASS news agency that flights will reroute over Turkmen and Iranian airspace.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have been high since a Feb. 14 suicide bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police was blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

Both countries have ordered airstrikes over the last two days, the first time in history that two nuclear-armed powers have done so.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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