In a dramatic escalation of violence over their shared Himalayan border, India and Pakistan both claimed to shoot down one another’s fighter jets Wednesday, and video emerged of a bloodied, blindfolded Indian pilot in Pakistani custody.
Both countries accused the other of invading rival airspace. India confirmed the loss of one of its MiG-21 fighter jets in an “engagement” with Pakistani forces, and acknowledged its pilot was missing.
The air incursions follow a Feb. 14 suicide car-bomb attack in Kashmir that killed some 40 Indian troops. Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based militant group, claimed responsibility.
On Tuesday, India responded with an air strike on what it described as a militant training camp inside Pakistan, saying it had killed “a large number of terrorists.” However, Islamabad disputed the claim, saying that while India’s warplanes had entered Pakistani airspace, that they were forced to drop their bombs in an empty field after Pakistan Air Force jets were scrambled to intercept them.
In video circulating on social media in both countries, a blindfolded man with a bloodied face identifies himself in English as Wing Commander “Abhinandan,” and the camera pans to an Indian Air Force logo on his jacket. He reads aloud his military identification number, and asks his captors if he is in the custody…