Pakistan says it downed 2 Indian warplanes, captured pilot

India's Border Security Force soldiers patrol along the fenced border with Pakistan in Ranbir Singh Pura sector near Jammu

Pakistan has claimed to have shot down two Indian aircraft "inside Pakistani airspace" early this morning after the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated claiming that it undertook the strikes across the LoC from within the Pakistani airspace.

Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) addressed a press conference and confirmed that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircrafts on Wednesday.

The Pakistan military spokesman has claimed that two Indian pilots had been arrested within Pakistan-held territory in Kashmir.

Airports in the cities of Amritsar, Pathankot, Jammu, Leh and Chandigarh were temporarily closed for commercial flights earlier on Wednesday, sources told Reuters.

"Due to operational reasons the airspace at Amritsar has been closed for now", Amritsar airport director AP Acharya told ANI.

Tensions have been high between Islamabad and New Delhi since a February 14 suicide attack that killed at least 41 Indian troops in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which is claimed by both countries. All passengers flying to/from Pakistan are advised to contact Gulf Air's Worldwide Contact Centre on 00973 17373737 before proceeding to the airport.

Calling for talks with India to defuse the situation, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan warned of the potentially catastrophic consequences should "better sense" not prevail.

"I expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost".

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However, Indian fans and some former cricketers are not happy after 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a terrorist attack in Pulwama. Ganguly on Saturday, however, took a step ahead when asked to react to Tendulkar's remark.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on India and Pakistan to avoid further military activity.

India on Tuesday said it had launched an air strike inside Pakistan and that its warplanes killed "a very large number" of fighters at a militant training camp, raising the risk of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

"If I were Washington, I'd be in overdrive making phone calls and signalling that it wants tensions to be de-escalated now", said Moeed Yusuf, an expert at the US Institute of Peace in Washington.

"If India is striking at so-called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan", it added.

One of the downed planes crashed in Pakistan's part of Kashmir while the other went down in Indian-controlled section of the Himalayan region, Pakistan's army spokesman Maj.

In that aerial engagement one PAF aircraft was shot down by a MiG-21 Bison of IAF and the Pakistani plane was seen falling from the sky on the Pakistani side, Kumar said.

Tuesday's pre-dawn strike by India was its first inside of Pakistan since the two nations' 1971 war over territory that later became Bangladesh.

The shells hit the village of Kotli in Pakistan's section of Kashmir.

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