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Pakistan Says It Shot Down Two Indian Jets Over Kashmir, Captured Pilot


An Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft (file photo)

BREAKING: Pakistan says it has shot down two India Air Force jets in its airspace in the disputed region of Kashmir and captured one pilot on the ground.

More to follow.

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An Indian Air Force plane has crashed in India-administered Kashmir, officials say, amid heightened tensions with neighboring Pakistan.

An unidentified police officer said that two pilots and a civilian were killed in the February 27 crash, the Reuters news agency reported.

No further details were immediately available.

Meanwhile, reports said Indian warplanes had intercepted Pakistan jets that had crossed the Line of Control that serves as a de facto border in disputed Kashmir and forced them to turn back.

The reports come a day after Indian warplanes carried out an air strike in northeastern Pakistan on what New Delhi said was a militant training camp.

India said the strike killed "a very large number" of militants. Pakistan denied there had been casualties but has warned that it will respond to what it called Indian “aggression.”

Tensions have been high between Islamabad and New Delhi since a February 14 suicide attack that killed at least 41 soldiers in the India-controlled part of Kashmir.

The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group claimed responsibility.

India says its neighbor had a "direct hand" in the attack and accuses it of providing sanctuary to the militants. Islamabad denies involvement.

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

In the February 26 statement, Pompeo said he had spoken with his Indian and Pakistani counterparts.

"I expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity," he said.

Also on February 27, Pakistani police said that Indian troops fired mortar shells across the Line of Control, killing six civilians.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought two of their three full-fledged wars over the Himalayan territory since their partition during independence from Britain in 1947.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

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