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Pakistan partially opens airspace

Pakistan Forward and AFP

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan was set to re-open its airspace with restrictions Friday (March 1), the country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said, after thousands of passengers were left stranded worldwide when Islamabad shut down air travel as tensions with neighbouring India soared.

The countries have been at loggerheads since a suicide bomber killed 40 Indian security personnel in Indian-administered Kashmir February 14. The Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) terrorist organisation, based in Pakistan, claimed responsibility.

"We will open our airspace at 6pm today" for inbound and outbound flights at Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta airports, CAA spokesman Aamir Mehboob told AFP.

Other airports would be opened "gradually", he said. Passengers should check with their airlines for more details, tweeted the CAA.

The airspace closure disrupted major routes between Europe and South Asia, with mounting frustration from passengers stranded at international airports.

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