February 17, 2016 / 3:52 PM / 3 years ago

Britain scrambles fighters to intercept Russian bombers

LONDON (Reuters) - British Typhoon fighter jets intercepted two Russian Tu-160 bomber planes heading towards British airspace on Wednesday, a spokeswoman from the Ministry of Defence said.

The British aircraft were scrambled from a Royal Air Force base in eastern England and escorted the Russian planes while they flew in an area which is closely monitored by Britain, but outside its territorial airspace.

“At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK territorial airspace,” the spokeswoman said, without giving more specific details of the location of the incident.

The Russian Defence Ministry did not respond to written questions submitted by Reuters.

Intercepts of Russian aircraft by NATO have increased over the last year amid heightened tensions between the West and Moscow over Ukraine. There was a similar incident last November.

Reporting by William James and Jack Stubbs in Moscow; editing by Kate Holton

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