Pakistan says it has shot down two Indian military jets, which violated its airspace, and captured a pilot amid escalating tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors over the recent developments in disputed Kashmir.
The Pakistani military’s spokesman, Major General Asif Ghafoor, said in a Twitter message that two Indian Air Force planes had been targeted in the airspace over the Islamabad-administered side of Kashmir.
One aircraft went down on the Pakistani side, while the other crashed on the Indian side of Kashmir, the official added.
“One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area,” he said in the tweet, without elaborating.
In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.
Reuters cited an Indian official as saying that New Delhi’s jets also intercepted at least three Pakistan warplanes and forced them back after they crossed into Indian territory on Wednesday.
The Pakistani jets intruded over the Bimber Gali- Noushera sector at the Line of Control, said the unnamed official.
The reported airspace intrusion prompted India to close at least four airports in the northern part of the country.
Citing an Indian government official, Reuters said the airports are at Pathankot, Leh, Srinagar and Jammu.
The main airport in Srinagar had been shut down for three hours, according to police.
Overnight, the two sides traded heavy fire along their border in the Kashmir region. Islamabad pledged to surprise India with its retaliatory strikes after India pounded a purported militant training camp on Pakistan soil on Tuesday morning.
Pakistan began shelling the India-controlled side of Kashmir from across the border — known as the Line of Control (LoC) — on Tuesday evening, a spokesman for the Indian defense forces said on Wednesday.
“The Indian Army retaliated for effect and our focused fire resulted in severe destruction to five posts and a number of casualties,” said the spokesman.