Pakistan has confirmed that it carried out air raids in Indian-administered Kashmir and shot down two Indian jets in its own airspace, capturing one of the pilots as tensions escalate a day after India bombed targets in Pakistan.
“Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Earlier, Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistani army, said Indian jets had entered Pakistan in response and two fighter jets had been shot down, with one pilot captured.
The development comes as Indian officials said at least three Pakistani combat jets entered the airspace over Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday but returned after being intercepted by Indian planes.
In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 27, 2019
At least four airports in the northern part of India, including the main airport in Indian-administered Kashmir, were shut down indefinitely on Wednesday amid warnings of a retaliatory attack by Pakistan.
Also on Wednesday, an Indian Air Force plane crashed in Kashmir, killing two pilots and a civilian, a police official said. It was unclear whether the plane was shot down or faced a technical snag.
India on Tuesday said it had launched an air attack inside Pakistan and that its warplanes killed “a very large number” of fighters at a rebel training camp, raising the risk of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Pakistan denied there had been casualties, but has warned that it will respond to Indian aggression.
Tensions have risen since a suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based armed group in Indian-administered Kashmir killed at least 42 Indian paramilitary police on February 14.
Al Jazeera and news agencies