New Delhi: Disputing Pakistan’s version of the aerial confrontation that unfolded on Wednesday morning, sources in the government told News18 that more than 20 Pakistani aircraft had approached the Indian airspace at 9:45am and breached 10km inside. Laser-guided missile were fired at Indian military targets, but missed narrowly, defence ministry sources added.
The sources said Pakistan’s claims that its air force did not target Indian military installations during the intrusion were false, adding that the alertness of the armed forces remained at the highest level.
They said the leaves of security forces have not been cancelled, though leaves of personnel holding important positions are being curtailed. The sources also said there has been no mobilisation of ground forces yet and that some forces are ready to move at short notice.
An IAF pilot was captured by Pakistan after an air combat Wednesday during which the two sides said they shot down each other’s warplanes that followed an unsuccessful attempt to target Indian military installations in retaliatory strikes that sparked fears of war.
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The aerial engagement between India and Pakistan for the first time since the 1971 war marked a dramatic escalation of confrontation prompting world leaders to urge the two neighbouring countries to exercise “utmost restraint”.
India said it shot down an F-16 warplane of Pakistan while it lost a MiG 21 during the fierce engagement between the air forces of the two countries along the Line of Control.