Pakistan Claims Downing of 2 Indian Fighter Jets in Kashmir

Tension has been elevated since a suicide vehicle bombing by Pakistan-based militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on February 14, but the risk of conflict rose dramatically on Tuesday when India launched an air strike on what it said was a militant training base.

The aircraft went down Wednesday morning in Kashmir, a mountainous region claimed by both India and Pakistan since nearly immediately after their creation in 1947.

Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan said India knew it wasn't attacking a terrorist camp and blamed the bombing on "self-serving" politicians. Tensions are mounting between the two countries.

"PAF shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace", he said in a tweet.

According to PTI, Canada's largest carrier has cancelled one flight to India from Vancouver and another flight, which was on way to Delhi, has turned back to Toronto, spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur reportedly said by email.

But the Pentagon declined to say if Shanahan has communicated directly with his Indian or Pakistani counterparts.

Flight Radar data shows Pakistan airspace is nearly emptied of aircraft - a massive contrast to last month when the country's skies were busy with flights.

A senior Indian government source told Reuters that 300 militants had been killed; Pakistan said the bombs caused neither casualties nor damage to infrastructure. "I think Indians are now simply exhausted of being the punching bag for Pakistani terrorism".

The incident, in which Pakistan said it had shot down two military jets, has escalated tensions between the two nations, both of whom claim all of Kashmir, but control only parts of it.

Thai Airways has cancelled all Europe-bound flights after Pakistan closed its airspace in the wake of escalating tensions with India.

On Wednesday morning, India's external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, emphasised that Pakistan's military was not the target of the sorties. Wing Commander Abhinandan is the son of a retired Indian Air Marshal, the reports added.

"From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom", Khan said.

It also advised Malaysians to postpone all non-essential travel, particularly to the areas directly affected.

The Press Trust of India news agency says these airports are located at Srinagar, Jammu and Leh.

The Indian air force has ordered Kashmir's main airport in Srinagar along with at least three others in neighbouring states to close, an official said.

Another police officer, S.P. Pani, said firefighters were at the site in Budgam area where the warplane crashed.

Describing the Pakistani air mission before the downing of the Indian jets, Ghafoor said Pakistani planes "locked" on Indian ground targets to demonstrate their capabilities to strike, but deliberately fired elsewhere on open spaces where there would be no casualties.

Pakistan's policy has emphasised "full-spectrum deterrence", which essentially means competing with India to "deter the kind of activities we have seen over the last few days", said Toby Dalton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Five Indian soldiers suffered minor wounds in the shelling that ended on Wednesday morning, he added. This was the biggest terrorist attack in India since 2008, when over 150 people were killed in Mumbai. The United States is distracted with the ongoing summitry in Hanoi, Vietnam, and China and Russian Federation are each seen as too partisan to Pakistan and India respectively.

Incredible video shows wind pushing ice over wall near Lake Erie
IHC announced verdict on bail plea of Nawaz Sharif