India orders Afghan-bound US plane to land


MUMBAI (AFP) – Air traffic controllers forced a US-chartered cargo plane carrying ammunition to Afghanistan to land at Mumbai airport after it violated Indian air space, according to officials.

The Russian Antonov-124 had taken off from the US base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia bound for Kandahar when it flew over western India late Friday without authorisation, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

"The plane, with its two crew and six passengers, has been moved to the parking bay of the airport under strict security and is awaiting clearance to take off," an aviation official who declined to be identified told AFP.

Air force spokesman Wing Commander T. K. Singha said that authorities had acted as the plane did not have permission to enter Indian air space.

He denied reports that Indian fighter jets had been scrambled to force the plane to land.