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Pakistan shoots down Indian jets, performs airstrikes in Kashmir



Pakistan shot down two Indian jets on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Pakistani armed forces one day after Indian warplanes initially since a 1971 war that led to the power to urge the nuclear-armed rivals to show restraint.

Tensions have been elevated since a suicide bombing of Pakistani-based militants in Indian-controlled kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on February 14, but the risk of conflict increased dramatically on Tuesday when India launched an air strike on what it said was a militant training base.

The attack was directed at the military Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group claiming credit for suicide attacks. But while India said a large number of JeM warriors had been killed, Pakistani officials said Indian airstrike was a failure and did not cause any accidents.

Indian air force fled into Pakistani airspace on Wednesday after Pakistan had carried out fire in Indian-occupied Kashmir, said Secretary General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the armed forces in Pakistan.

"PAF shot down two Indian aircraft in the Pakistani airspace," he said in a tweet.

One of the aircraft fell on India's side of Kashmir, while the other came down on Pakistani territory and its pilot was captured, he added.

A spokesman for India's Defense Ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Police officials in Indian-occupied Kashmir said two Indians and a civilian were dead after an Indian air force crashed into Kashmir, but did not confirm whether the aircraft had been shot by Pakistani forces.

Indian officials said three Pakistani jets had also entered Indian airspace before being intercepted and forced to return.

The Indian Air Force has ordered Kashmir's largest airport in Srinagar along with at least three others in neighboring countries to be closed due to the two incidents, an official said.

On Tuesday night, Pakistan began shelling using heavy caliber weapons in 1

2 to 15 places along the de facto border in Kashmir, known as the Line of Control (LoC), a spokesman for the Indian defense said.

"The Indian army is being repaid for effect, and our focused fire resulted in severe destruction of five positions and number of deaths," the spokesman said.

Five Indian soldiers suffered small wounds in the shelling that ended Wednesday morning, he added.

"So far, there are no (civil) losses, but there is panic among people," said Rahul Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of the Poonch District, where some of the shelling took place.

"We have an evacuation plan in place, and if it does, we will evacuate people to safer areas," he said.

Local officials on the Pakistani side said at least four people had been killed and seven wounded, although it was unclear whether the deaths were civil or military.

India has also continued its repression of suspect militants operating in Kashmir, a mountainous region that both countries fully claim, but partly govern.

On Wednesday, security forces killed two Jaish militants at a gun fight, the Indian police said.


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