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F-16 crashes in Islamabad during parade rehearsal

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ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani F-16 fighter jet crashed in Islamabad on Wednesday, killing the pilot, during a rehearsal for a national day military parade, officials said.


Footage on social media showed a plume of smoke billowing into the sky after the plane hit the ground having apparently attempted a loop.


A Pakistani Air Force spokesman said the pilot, Wing Commander Nauman Akram, died in the crash.


“Pakistan Air Force reports with regret that a PAF F-16 aircraft crashed near Shakarparian, Islamabad during the rehearsals of 23rd March parade,” the air force said in a statement.


The rehearsals were for the annual military parade in Islamabad this month to celebrate Pakistan Day.


The F-16 jets are among the most valuable hardware in the Pakistani military’s arsenal and the country has a fleet of about 50 — each worth at least $40 million.


Wednesday’s incident comes just months after a fighter jet crashed during a training mission near Mianwali in Punjab province, killing both pilots.


In July last year at least 18 people were killed when a small army plane crashed in Rawalpindi.


And in 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while flying from remote northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people. — AFP


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