Eli Ridder | Report
During what many military analysts are citing as the worst tensions in two decades, Pakistan said on Wednesday morning that it had shot down two India air Force warplanes and arrested one pilot on the ground — and India says it struck one Pakistani aircraft.
The strike came after Indian jets bombed militants in Pakistani-controlled territory of the disputed region of Kashmir. The bombing came just short of two weeks after 40 Indian paramilitary police were killed in a suicide bombing on Feb. 14, in Kashmir.
The suicide attack was hailed as the deadliest attack in the insurgency that has raged for some 30 years in the contested Himalayan region between the pair of countries.
Both countries have gone to war over the Kashmir region before, in 1999, but now they are equipped with nuclear weapons.
International observers have largely predicted the United States, Russia and China would not get involved in a conflict should a full-scale war occur.
News 24, a pro-Indian government news agency, says that “Pakistan is stooping low and breaking all rules” as well as “getting desperate and getting involved in actions against law”.
International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace now being affected. Some flights returning to origin, while others appear to be seeking alternate routing, Flight Radar 24 reported, and several airports have been shut down in at least India.
The Pakistan government confirmed that the India Air Force crossed into their territory over the Line of Control and that two aircraft were shot down.
The Pakistan Air Force shot the two aircraft, a top Pakistani military official said, detailing that one of the aircraft fell inside Pakistani territory “while other fell inside IOK” — confirming that “one Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.”
Pakistan said it had “taken strikes at [a] non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage.
Image of India Air Force aircraft from India.