Pakistan Says Strikes Against India, Shoots Down Two Indian Aircraft

Pakistan claims to have shot down two Indian aircraft as tensions flare

Pakistan 'shoots down two Indian jets' over Kashmir – BBC

"One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area", Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted.

Meanwhile, India's Asian News International (ANI) news agency said that Pakistani jets had reportedly violated the Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir, "dropping bombs on their way out".

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said Pakistan has exercised its right to self-defence by striking down two of Indian fighter jets. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan's attempts were foiled successfully. Pakistan denied there had been casualties, but has warned that it will respond to what it called Indian "aggression".

He said the Indian plane flown by the captured pilot - a Mig-21 - was lost in that operation. The pilot is missing in action.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke separately with the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan and urged them to avoid "further military activity" following Tuesday's airstrike. We are ascertaining the facts.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told a media briefing that Pakistan has claimed that the pilot was in its custody and India is "ascertaining the facts".

According to the video, one of the captured pilots can be heard saying: "My name is Wing Commander Abhi Nandan".

"India should not carry any further violence in Pakistan because its continuation will affect regional security also the continuation of such conflict will cost a lot for India", Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement.

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Commercial flight operations of all airports in Pakistan and some northern Indian airports were temporarily suspended amid escalating tensions between the two countries, reports said.

The tension between Pakistan and India erupted again after Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a convoy of India's paramilitary forces in the Indian portion of Kashmir on February 14, which killed 40 Indian troops.

The escalation has triggered worldwide alarm, with China and the European Union also calling for restraint.

The shells hit the village of Kotli in Pakistan's section of Kashmir.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought two of their three full-fledged wars over the Himalayan territory since their partition during independence from Britain in 1947.

"If I were Washington, I'd be in overdrive making phone calls and signaling that it wants tensions to be de-escalated now", said Moeed Yusuf, an expert at the US Institute of Peace in Washington.

"The risks of letting this play out are too great".

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