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Pakistan Air Force downs two Indian aircraft

February 27, 10:28 UTC+3 ISLAMABAD

The incident took place after the Indian Air Force had targeted a militant camp belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed group near the Pakistani town of Balakot

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© AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

ISLAMABAD, February 27. /TASS/. The Pakistan Air Force has downed two Indian aircraft whish, according to Islamabad, violated the country’s airspace, Pakistan Army Spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter on Wednesday.

"In response to PAF [Pakistan Air Force] strikes this morning as released by the MoFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs], the IAF [Indian Air Force] crossed the LOC [Line of Control]. PAF shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistan airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K [Azad Jammu and Kashmir], while the other fell inside the IOK [Indian-Occupied Kashmir]. One Indian pilot was arrested by troops on the ground," the tweet reads.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement earlier in the day, saying that the "Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace."

"This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self-defense. We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm. That is why we undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight," the statement added.

Meanwhile, India’s Asian News International (ANI) news agency said that Pakistani jets had reportedly violated the Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir, "dropping bombs on their way out."

The incident took place after the Indian Air Force had targeted a militant camp belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed group near the Pakistani town of Balakot. According to New Delhi, the operation involved 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets, which dropped laser-guided bombs on the camp, completely destroying it and killing up to 300 militants.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which aims at separating Kashmir from India and bringing it under Pakistan’s control, claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy, which had killed 45.

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