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27 Feb, 2019 10:02

India says it shot down Pakistani warplane, lost MiG-21 fighter as border crisis escalates

India says it shot down Pakistani warplane, lost MiG-21 fighter as border crisis escalates

India shot down a Pakistani war plane and lost its own MiG-21 fighter, New Delhi said. Pakistan earlier claimed it had successfully taken out two Indian aircraft amid a spiraling border crisis.

In an “aerial engagement a Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force” and fell on the Pakistani territory, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, told reporters on Wednesday.

India took a beating too, he announced, having lost “one MiG 21” in the encounter. 

Kumar stated that Islamabad used its jets to “target military installations on the Indian side” but “due to our high state of readiness and alertness Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully.”

The Pakistani military claimed to have shot down two Indian aircraft over its airspace. The government said that a pilot was captured after landing on the ground, and posted a photo of him in custody.

Radio Pakistan showed footage of the arrested man blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back.

After initially reporting the pilot as “missing in action,” India confirmed that he was being held by Pakistan and condemned his interrogation video as a “vulgar display.”

Also on rt.com 1st VIDEO of captured and injured Indian pilot released by Radio Pakistan

Islamabad for its part denied losing any of its aircraft as reports suggested that a Pakistani F-16 had been downed by the Indian Air Force.

Meanwhile, an Indian military Mi-17 helicopter also crashed in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir on the same day. However, it is not clear whether the incident was connected to the altercation with Pakistani jets.

Also on rt.com ‘No Indian movie will be released’: Pakistan bans Bollywood films & ads after air raid

Tensions between the neighboring nuclear-armed nations boiled over when India launched an air-raid on a Pakistani-controlled area of Kashmir. Indian fighter jets were said to have targeted terrorist camps in the disputed territory, marking the first cross-border aerial attack since the Indo-Pakistani War in 1971.

There is some dispute about what actually happened during the strike: while New Delhi says the attacks hit their mark, Islamabad claims the warplanes were quickly forced to retreat and fired wide of their targets.

India justified the assault saying that Islamabad’s failure to crack down on terrorists responsible for a deadly car-bombing earlier in the month had forced their hand. Islamabad vehemently rejected the accusation and vowed to retaliate.

Wednesday’s competing claims over the results of air combat coincided with cross-border shelling along the Kashmir border. Islamabad claims the shelling killed four Pakistani civilians, while New Delhi reported that five Indian soldiers had been injured.

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