MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan’s air pressure shot down two Indian warplanes after they crossed the boundary between the 2 nuclear-armed rivals within the disputed territory of Kashmir on Wednesday and captured one Indian pilot, a army spokesman mentioned.
The dramatic escalation got here hours after Pakistan mentioned mortar shells fired by Indian troops from throughout the frontier dividing the 2 sectors of Kashmir killed six civilians and wounded a number of others.
Pakistan’s military spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor mentioned Pakistani troops on the bottom captured the Indian pilot. One of many downed planes crashed in Pakistan’s a part of Kashmir whereas the opposite went down in Indian-controlled part of the Himalayan area, he mentioned.
Indian air pressure spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi mentioned he had no info on Pakistan’s assertion. Earlier, senior Indian police officer Munir Ahmed Khan mentioned an Indian Air Pressure aircraft crashed in Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir and that it wasn’t instantly identified if there have been casualties.
One other police officer, S.P. Pani, mentioned firefighters have been on the website in Budgam space the place the Indian warplane crashed. Eyewitnesses mentioned troopers fired in air to maintain residents away from the crash website.
Indian information experiences mentioned airports within the Indian portion of Kashmir closed for civilian site visitors shortly after the air pressure jet crashed within the space. The Press Belief of India information company mentioned these airports have been situated at Srinagar, Jammu and Leh. Indian authorities declined to remark.
Indian administrator Baseer Khan confirmed that the airport in Srinagar, the principle metropolis in Indian-controlled Kashmir, was closed and mentioned it was a “short-term and precautionary measure.”
Press Belief of India mentioned Indian authorities additionally closed two airports in northern Punjab state, which borders with Pakistan.
In the meantime, the overseas ministry in Islamabad mentioned the nation’s air pressure was finishing up airstrikes from inside Pakistani airspace throughout the disputed Kashmir boundary however that this was not in “retaliation to continued Indian belligerence.”
The ministry mentioned Wednesday’s strikes have been aimed toward “avoiding human loss and collateral harm.” It says the Pakistanis have “no intention of escalation, however are absolutely ready to take action if pressured into that paradigm. That’s the reason we undertook the motion with clear warning and in broad daylight.”
In line with native Pakistani police official Mohammad Altaf, the six fatalities within the shelling earlier on Wednesday included youngsters. The shells hit the village of Kotli in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir.
Kashmir is break up between Pakistan and India and claimed by each in its entirety. Although Pakistani and Indian troops in Kashmir typically commerce fireplace, the newest civilian casualties got here a day after tensions escalated sharply following a pre-dawn airstrike and incursion by India on Tuesday that New Delhi mentioned focused a terrorist coaching camp in northwestern Pakistan.
Residents on either side of the de-factor frontier, the so known as Line of Management, mentioned there have been exchanges of fireplace between the 2 sides by the night time. In Pakistan’s a part of Kashmir, tons of of villagers fled border cities.
The state of affairs was no totally different in villages alongside the Line of Management in Indian-controlled Kashmir, the place residents have been transferring to safer locations following the extreme trade of fireplace, which started Tuesday and continued Wednesday. In New Delhi, Indian officers mentioned Wednesday at the very least 5 of their troopers have been wounded in firing by Pakistani troops alongside the risky frontier.
Lt. Col. Devender Anand, an Indian military spokesman, mentioned Pakistani troopers focused dozens of Indian army positions throughout the Line of Management all through the night time. An Indian army assertion mentioned that “out of anger and frustration,” Pakistan “initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation.”
The assertion mentioned Indian troops “retaliated for impact” and claimed to have destroyed 5 Pakistani posts. It accused Pakistani troopers of firing mortars and missiles “from civilian homes, utilizing villagers as human shields.”
In Tuesday’s pre-dawn strike by India, Pakistan mentioned Indian warplanes dropped bombs close to the Pakistani city of Balakot however there have been no casualties.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was anticipated to convene the Nationwide Command Authority on Wednesday to debate Islamabad’s response to the incursions by Indian warplanes.
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s International Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi informed state-run Pakistan Tv he was in contact along with his counterparts internationally concerning the “Indian aggression,” including that New Delhi had endangered peace within the area by Tuesday’s airstrike on Pakistan.
In New Delhi, India’s Exterior Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj mentioned Wednesday her nation doesn’t wished to see additional escalation of the state of affairs with Pakistan and that it’ll proceed to behave with duty and restraint.
She mentioned the restricted goal of India’s pre-emptive strike inside Pakistan on a terrorist coaching camp Tuesday was to behave decisively towards the terrorist infrastructure of Jaish-e-Mohammad group, to pre-empt one other terror assault in India.
The strain between Pakistan and India erupted after Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed duty for the Feb. 14 suicide bombing of a convoy of India’s paramilitary forces within the Indian portion of Kashmir that killed 40 Indian troops.
Pakistan has mentioned it was not concerned within the assault and was prepared to assist New Delhi within the investigations.
Hussain reported from Srinagar, India. Related Press writers Ashok Sharma in New Delhi, India, and Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.
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