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Turkish F-16 fighter jets shoot down Russian warplane near Syrian border

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ANKARA — Turkish fighter jets have shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border after it violated Turkey’s airspace, military officials say.

Turkish F-16s warned the plane over the airspace violations before shooting it down, a military official said, adding that the plane’s origin was not clear.

Two jets were involved in the shooting of the plane after it was warned 10 times in five minutes, Turkey’s military said.

Russia’s defence ministry told the Interfax news agency that the downed jet was Russian and said Turkish airspace was not violated.

Moscow confirmed that the downed jet was a Sukhoi Su-24.

Footage from private broadcaster Haberturk TV showed a warplane going down in flames in a woodland area, a long plume of smoke trailing behind it.

The plane went down in area known by Turks as Turkmen Mountain in northern Syria near the Turkish border, Haberturk said.

Separate footage from Turkey’s Anadolu Agency showed two pilots parachuting out of the jet before it crashed.

Al Jazeera’s Arabic Service tweeted that one of the pilots had been captured.

Russia has repeatedly carried out air strikes in Syria in defence of president Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey called this week for a UN Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in neighbouring Syria, and last week Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the bombing of their villages.

Ankara has traditionally expressed solidarity with Syrian Turkmens, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.

Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu has spoken with the chief of military staff and the foreign minister about the developments on the Syrian border, the prime minister’s office said in a statement, without mentioning the downed jet.

He has ordered the foreign ministry to consult with NATO, the United Nations and related countries on the latest developments, his office said.

Reuters/ABC

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DPM Pokharel gets responsibility of Officiating PM

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KATHMANDU — Ahead of his visit to the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has given the responsibility of the Officiating PM to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishwar Pokharel.

PM Oli, who is also the chairman of Nepal Communist Party (CPN), is leaving here for China today.

Similarly, Oli has appointed party’s senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as the officiating chairman of CPN, according to CPN central committee member Bishnu Rijal. Currently, another chairman of CPN Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is out of the country.

Likewise, deputy parliamentary party leader of CPN Subas Chandra Nembang has got the responsibility of officiating parliamentary party leader in the absence of parliamentary party leader and PM Oli.

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