Is this the start of a new Pakistan India war?
Pakistan carried out air strikes and shot down two Indian jets on Wednesday, Pakistani officials said, a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a war in 1971, prompting leading powers to urge both sides to show restraint.
Pakistan says it has shot down two Indian Air Force jets in a major escalation of the Kashmir conflict.
A spokesman said one plane had fallen inside Pakistani territory and two pilots had been arrested.
Indian officials claimed they also shot down an Pakistani warplane after Pakistan attacked military targets on Indian territory.
India also confirmed that an Indian warplane crashed, with one pilot "missing in action" and can't be accounted for.
Pakistan has denied reports one of its jets was shot down.
Pakistan’s chief military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, said in a news conference on Wednesday afternoon that Pakistan’s air force had struck six targets inside India, without crossing into the country’s airspace.
It was unclear what was struck; Major General Ghafoor described the strikes as being in an open area to make sure there was “no human loss or collateral damage.”The Indian Air Force responded by entering into Pakistan’s airspace, he added, and two planes were shot down.
“Our ground forces arrested two pilots; one of them was injured and has been shifted to C.M.H., and he will be taken care of. The other one is with us,” Major General Ghafoor said, using the initials for the Combined Military Hospital complex.
Pakistan has released this video of a captured IAF pilot who's plane was shot down earlier today. In the video Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman says he is being looked after well in Pakistan after he was taken into custody.
Both India and Pakistan claim all of Kashmir, but control only parts of it.
The nuclear powers have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. All but one were over Kashmir.
The aerial attacks across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Indian and Pakistani territory are the first since a war in 1971.
They follow a militant attack in Kashmir which killed 40 Indian troops - the deadliest to take place during a three-decade insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir. A Pakistan-based group said it carried out the attack.
India responded to this attack by air striking Balakot in north-western Pakistan where it said it killed a large number of militants but Pakistan said there had been no casualties.
In a separate incident, police officials in Indian-occupied Kashmir said that two Indian pilots and a civilian had died after an Indian aircraft crashed in Kashmir. The craft was initially reported by officials to be a plane, but a partial tail number from the craft seen by a Reuters witness showed it to be an Mi17 military helicopter. The cause of the crash is unknown however the possibility that it was shot down cannot be ruled out.
The latest exchanges hit stock markets in both countries. Pakistani stocks fell sharply during morning trade with the benchmark KSE 100 index down 3.34 percent and the narrower KMI 30 index down 3.6 percent in Karachi. The Indian stock market was down around 0.5 percent.
This military confrontaion between two nuclear armed countries is already causing widespread panic in the region, with China, the US and the EU urging for both sides to show restraint and deescalate the situation.