An Indian Air Force pilot who engaged Pakistani jets that violated Indian airspace this morning is missing in action, the government has said. A foreign ministry spokesperson said India is verifying Pakistani claims that the pilot is in its custody.
MEA spoksperson Raveesh Kumar said Pakistan had responded to its air strike by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. But the attempts were foiled, he said.
"The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly. In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts," said the spokesperson.
Kumar also confirmed earlier reports that a Pakistani fighter jet was shot down by Indian fighters. The Pakistani F-16 aircraft crashed on its territory, in the Lam Valley area along the Line of Control.
Earlier, Major General Asif Gafoor, the spokesperson for the Pakistani military, held a press conference claiming that Pakistani fighter jets had carried out "strikes" in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani jets also took down two Indian Air Force fighters, Ghafoor said, one of which crashed in Paksitan-controlled territory. Both pilots of the crashed jet -- a MiG 21 -- were taken in custody and one who was injured was being giving treatment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi left an event early and met with top officials including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the Defence and Foreign Secretaries and intelligence officials amid rising tension.
Full Statement from MEA-IAF:
India had informed about Counter-Terrorism (CT) action it took yesterday against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks. Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully.
The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly. In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts.
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