Pakistan says it shot down Indian jets, carried out airstrikes in Kashmir

Pakistan Says It Shot Down Two Indian Jets, Captured Pilots In Kashmir Escalation

The attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based JeM.

A day after New Delhi claimed its Air Force had struck a terror camp on Pakistani territory, reports that both India and Pakistan have shot down each others' fighter jets have started to emerge.

Pakistan has reportedly shut down its main airports in Islamabad, Lahore and Multan, shortly after India suspended commercial flights over Kashmir and several north Indian cities.

Tensions have risen since a suicide vehicle bombing by Pakistan-based armed group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), in Indian-administered Kashmir killed at least 42 Indian paramilitary forces on February 14.

A spokesman for India's foreign ministry said it lost a combat jet and could not find the pilot while it foiled an attack by Pakistan military planes in Kashmir.

Local officials on the Pakistani side said at least four people had been killed and seven wounded, though it was unclear if the casualties were civilian or military.

Pakistan's permanent envoy to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has has told the UN officials that as a victim of aggression, Pakistan will respond to India at a time and place of its choosing.

Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistani troops on ground captured the Indian pilot. He had said earlier that two pilots were captured, but did not explain the discrepancy.

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The aviation authority made the announcement on Twitter after the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations, the military's media arm, acknowledged the closure of Pakistan's airspace due to the prevailing security situation.

But the Chinese Foreign Minsiter was also emphatic against accusing Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. But accounts diverge from there.

Tension has been elevated since a suicide vehicle bombing by Pakistan-based militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on February 14, but the risk of conflict rose dramatically on Tuesday when India launched an air strike on what it said was a militant training base.

Both countries mounted media blitzes to push their particular narrative but had appeared to leave room to de-escalate the conflict.

On Wednesday morning, New Delhi and Islamabad were engaged in a battle of conflicting military claims.

Referring to the adoption of common approach by Russia-India-China, Ms. Swaraj said that, "This is not only a common strategy for the three of us, but it is resolution for the three of us". "The limited objective of the pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of the JeM in order to pre-empt another terrorist attack in India".

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday called a meeting of the top decision making body on nuclear issues after India targeted terrorist camp in the country. The shells hit the village of Kotli in Pakistan's section of Kashmir. A helicopter crash in the region also killed six Indian air force officials and a civilian on the ground.

Both sides have said that Indian warplanes penetrated as far as Balakot, a heavily forested region in northwestern Pakistan near the border with Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

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