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Russia says fighter jet intercepts US bomber on border

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The Su-27 fighter of Russia.

MOSCOW (AP): Russia's defence ministry said Tuesday that one of its fighter jets intercepted an American strategic bomber that was flying near the border of Russian airspace.

The defence ministry said in a statement that it had to scramble the Su-27 to the area over the Baltic Sea on Tuesday morning after Russian radars spotted an aircraft flying along the border. The ministry said the Russian jet identified it as a US B-52 bomber and escorted it until it flew further away from the border.

The defence ministry did not specify where exactly the intercept happened.

In a separate incident, a Russian MiG-31 was dispatched early on Tuesday afternoon to intercept Norwegian maritime surveillance aircraft flying over the Barents Sea near the Russian border, the Russian defence ministry said.

Similar incidents have happened close to Russian airspace in the past. In September, a Russian fighter jet flew within 10 feet of a US Navy surveillance aircraft, in what American officials called an unsafe intercept over the Black Sea.

In another dramatic incident last year, Russian jets buzzed over the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea, coming within 30 feet of the American warship.

Capt Joe Alonso, a spokesman for US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said he could not confirm the report, but that the military was aware of it and looking into it.

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