Pakistan says Indian aircraft 'released a payload' after crossing frontier, no casualties

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Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesperson for Pakistan's military, tweeted: "Indian Air Force violated Line of Control".

"Indian aircraft intruded from Muzafarabad sector". He did not say how many Indian aircraft, or what type, had been involved in the reported incident or what the Pakistani Air Force's response consisted of afterward. Addressing the press conference in UAE on Friday, Musharraf said: "Indian and Pakistan relations have again reached a unsafe level. Indian aircrafts gone back".

This statement comes amid India mounting diplomatic pressure worldwide to stonewall Pakistan's efforts to "shield" terror groups breeding on its soil.

It follows a suicide bombing attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama on February 14 that killed 40 troopers.

The Indian rupee weakened offshore, with one-month non-deliverable forward trading at 71.32 a dollar before local markets open.

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Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the INEC, said that 72.8 million cards had been collected out of 84 million registered voters. Acting Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu said police would ensure security at the polls.

Sources said Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat and Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba met the Defence Minister before her address to Defence Attaches of 42 nations in the Union capital.

The tweet also called on India and Pakistan "to work to de-escalate the situation". "The two killed Pakistani terrorists, Waleed and Numan, as per police records, were top commanders of JeM who were active in southern parts of the Kashmir valley", the police said. The attack took place around 3.30am, the agency claimed.

"There have been reports of an unusual movement on Pakistan side of the frontiers in panic following Indian threat of revenge including both Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB)".

India has said Islamabad had a "direct hand" in the attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed. Such a raid would risk unintended military escalation with Pakistan, while a failed operation would likely be very politically damaging to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the upcoming Indian general election scheduled in April-May 2019.