Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for a vehicle bomb attack that killed at least 40 Indian police officers in the disputed territory of Kashmir in early February.
Some 40 people were reportedly killed in the attack. But air strikes by India on Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps yesterday (Tuesday) is a fight against terrorism and we stand with our country in this war.
It said regret was expressed at continuing denial by Pakistan's political and and military leadership at the presence of terrorist infrastructure in territories under its control. In another recent example, from September 2016, India claimed that "surgical strikes" destroyed militant facilities over "the line of control" that separates India-held and Pakistan-held areas of Kashmir from each other. Islamabad denounced the strike and had vowed to retaliate.
India has yet to respond to Pakistan's claims. Neither side's version of events could be corroborated independently.
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The promised retaliation materialized on Wednesday and has brought with it as much confusion over what exactly happened as events on Tuesday. "Sole objective (is) being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self-defense". "The Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace".
Pakistan's Major General Asif Ghafoor, the director general (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, "Two Indian pilots were taken into custody and they are being treated well: one is injured and is being provided proper medical care". Indian security officials did not report any casualties but said villages were hit including Kamalkote and Kalgo, both near the heavily guarded military border. The militant groups are fighting for either Kashmir's independence or its merger with Pakistan.
The Pakistan armed forces had claimed earlier that they had shot down two Indian aircraft inside the Pakistan airspace.
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Addressing a press conference, a spokesperson for the Indian MEA said, "We unfortunately lost one MiG-21 in this engagement and an Indian pilot is missing in action". The External Affairs Minsiry had summoned Shah to South Block after Pakistan Air Force's fighter jets violated Indian air space several times on Wednesday. He stressed that the Pakistani aircraft were targeting Indian military installations on the ground. "One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK [Indian occupied Kashmir]", Pakistan army spokesman Maj.
British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said the United Kingdom government had been "working round the clock" to encourage Pakistan and India to "de-escalate and reduce tensions".
Amid the flare-up, air traffic was shut down on both sides of the LoC.
SriLankan Airlines cancelled flights to the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore on Thursday following the airspace closing.
Airspace above Pakistan is now closed, the country's aviation authority has announced.
The escalating tension between the two neighbours has had world leaders exhorting them to exercise restraint.
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