5-speed listening (Kashmir - Level 3)

Kashmir crisis halts flights to Pakistan



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Tensions are growing between India and Pakistan. Many people are worried that the two nuclear-armed countries are heading for war. Pakistan carried out air raids and shot down two Indian military jets on Wednesday. They captured an Indian fighter pilot. He is now being held by Pakistan's Army. This happened a day after Indian warplanes dropped bombs on Pakistani territory. India said it was bombing a terrorist base linked to the suicide car bombing on February 14 that killed at least 40 Indian police officers in Indian-controlled Kashmir. It is the first time Indian warplanes have struck inside Pakistan since a war in 1971. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for peace talks.

Pakistan closed its airspace on Wednesday because of the tensions. Several international airlines have suspended flights to Pakistan and to some parts of India. Airlines that fly over India and Pakistan to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia had to re-route flights to avoid the region. Aviation expert Mark Martin said about 800 flights a day use the India-Pakistan air corridor. He said it was "very critical" for airlines. He added: "You can't fly over China, so you have to fly over Pakistan and India and go to Southeast Asia and Australia. Most of the traffic destined for Bangkok and Singapore will have to fly over Iran and then possibly take a detour." Thousands of passengers were stranded by the crisis.

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