Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistani military today forced an Indian Army helicopter to land in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK) and took four personnel on board into custody after the chopper allegedly violated the country's airspace in the Kargil sector.
"An Indian helicopter was forced to land once it violated Pakistani airspace at 1300 hours today in Olding sector near Skardu. Four persons, including three pilots, have been taken into custody," chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said.
In New Delhi, Indian army sources said bad weather could be the reason behind the chopper's entry into PoK.
The Cheetah helicopter had intruded "deep" into Pakistani airspace, Abbas alleged. The detained Indian personnel "were safe and being questioned", he said.
Indian authorities across the Line of Control had been informed about the incident, Abbas said. He did not say what Pakistani authorities planned to do with the Indian personnel.
Abbas also did not say how the helicopter was forced to land about 20 kms inside PoK.
The detained Indian Army personnel included a colonel, two majors and a junior commissioned officer, state-run APP news agency reported.
Initial Pakistani media reports had said that the Indian helicopter had strayed into Pakistani airspace due to bad weather conditions in Skardu area in PoK, fairly close to the border with India.
The helicopter belonging to Army's Aviation Corps was on its way to Bhimbhat from Leh when it landed in PoK, Indian army sources said in New Delhi.
It carried one engineering officer, One JCO and two pilots, they said.
The Director-General of Military Operations of both countries are in touch with each other, they said, adding action is in hand to retrieve the detained personnel and the chopper.