A pilot died after a Pakistan Air Force jet crashed near Shakarparian in Islamabad on Wednesday morning, The Dawn reported. The accident took place as the F-16 fighter jet was rehearsing for the country’s Republic Day parade to be held on March 23.

The Pakistani Air Force in a statement said the plane crashed in a jungle near Shakarparian area of the capital while carrying out routine rehearsals for the upcoming parade. Smoke could be seen rising from the crash site as the aircraft burst into flames.

Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz told the newspaper that officials from the Pakistan Army and the air force cordoned off the area to conduct rescue operations.

Pakistan Day or Pakistan Resolution Day, also known as Republic Day, commemorates the Lahore Resolution passed on March 23, 1940 and the adoption of the first Constitution of Pakistan. It is celebrated with an annual military and cultural parade organised in Islamabad. An air show is also held every year.

Earlier in February, a Pakistan Air Force trainer jet crashed during a routine training mission in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mardan district. A mirage aircraft had crashed near Shorkot city of Punjab’s Jhang district the week before.

In January, two Pakistani air force pilots were killed after a training aircraft crashed near the MM Alam Base in Mianwali.