India shot down a Pakistani warplane and lost its own MiG-21 fighter, with the pilot missing in action, New Delhi said. Pakistan earlier claimed it had successfully taken out two Indian aircraft amid a spiraling border crisis.
In an “aerial engagement Pakistani Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force” and fell on the Pakistani territory, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, told reporters on Wednesday.
India took a beating too, he announced, having lost “one MiG 21” in the same encounter. The pilot is still considered “missing in action.”
Kumar stated that Islamabad used its jets to “target military installations on the Indian side” but “due to our high state of readiness and alertness Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully.”
The Pakistani military earlier claimed to have shot down two Indian aircraft over its airspace and captured two pilots. Radio Pakistan showed footage of what appeared to be an arrested pilot in custody. Indian officials are “assessing” this fact, Kumar said.
Islamabad for its part denied losing any of its aircraft as reports suggested that a Pakistani F-16 had been downed by the Indian Air Force.
Meanwhile, an Indian military Mi-17 helicopter also crashed in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir on the same day. However, it is not clear whether the incident was connected to the altercation with Pakistani jets.