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India shoots down Pakistani fighter jet after own aircraft downed

India shoots down Pakistani fighter jet after own aircraft downed

"We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint, take initiatives that are conducive to promoting dialogue, meet halfway and make active efforts for lasting peace and stability in South Asia", Lu said.

The attack targeted the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the group that claimed credit for the suicide attack. He reads aloud his military identification number, and asks his captors if he is in the custody of the Pakistani army.

"In the aerial engagement, a Pakistan fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG-21 Bison".

Numerous nations have issued statements calling on both sides to practice restraint, in the meantime.

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

The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned this afternoon by MEA to lodge a strong protest at the unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India earlier today, including by violation of the Indian air space by Pakistan Air Force and targeting of Indian military posts.

Pakistan announced Wednesday that it had closed its airspace to commercial traffic, making it hard for flights from the West to get to India.

The latest escalation marks a test for the leaders of both nations, with one seeking re-election in a few months and the other facing his first real challenge on foreign policy.

The statement said that Pakistan had sought to "avoid human loss and collateral damage" and had conducted the strikes with the "s$3 ole goal being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence". But Pakistan maintained the Indian bombs had fallen on a vacant rural area with no loss of life and promised to take journalists to see the site.

The tension between India and Pakistan is only increasing day by day.




Indian police also said officials recovered six bodies from the wreckage of an Indian air force helicopter that crashed in Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir. At least one private Indian airliner, Vistara, said airspace across north India had been closed and flights to and from Amritsar, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Jammu have been put on hold.

Indian officials said three Pakistani jets had also entered Indian airspace, before being intercepted and forced turned back.

Within hours of the incident, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan went on television urging peace talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian Air Force has 2102 aircraft, which includes 676 fighter and 809 attack - but still comes behind China, with 2,955 aircraft overall.

Gen. Asif Ghafoor, the director general of Pakistan Inter-Services Public Relations, had for his neighbors in India on Tuesday evening. Emirates and Etihad also said they had suspended some flights to Pakistan. "We should sit down and talk about differences", he said.

The strikes were New Delhi's first on its neighbour's territory since the two countries went to war in 1971.

It said the strikes were aimed at a "non-military target", adding: "We have no intention of escalation".

The tension erupted in the wake of a terrorist bombing February 14 inside Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 paramilitary troops. But while India said a large number of JeM fighters had been killed, Pakistani officials said the Indian airstrike was a failure and inflicted no casualties.

Earlier, India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said her country wants to avoid any "further escalation of the situation".

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