23:18 GMT29 November 2020
Listen Live
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL

    Tensions between the nuclear-armed Asian nations escalated this week, with their militaries skirmishing following an Indian Air Force strike on a suspected terrorist stronghold in the contested region of Kashmir.

    Indian and Pakistani forces are engaged in a heavy exchange of fire at as many as eight different locations along the Line of Control separating the two countries' forces in Kashmir, multiple informed sources have told Sputnik.

    Major firefights are taking place in sectors including Mendhar, Balakot, Krishna Ghati, the sources said.

    Earlier Friday, Indian television reported that at at least two Indian police officers and two soldiers were killed by militants in the Kupward district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, with two terrorists also said to be eliminated in the shootout.

    Tensions between India and Pakistan remain dangerously high despite efforts to deescalate the conflict, including Islamabad's decision to hand over an Indian fighter pilot whose MiG-21 jet was shot down over Pakistani airspace on Wednesday.

    New Delhi has accused Islamabad of failing to fight Islamist extremists holed up in its territory. Multiple jihadist groups, including the Jaish-e-Mohammed* terrorist organisation, are thought to be situated in Kashmir, and to have been involved in attacks on Indian security personnel on the Indian side of the line of control. Earlier this month, the group claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing which killed over 40 Indian security personnel. In response, India carried out an airstrike on a suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed base on the Pakistani side of the border on Tuesday. A day later, the Pakistani military reported shooting down two Indian aircraft. India's defence officials later revealed that a Pakistani Air Force F-16 was also downed during a dogfight with IAF planes. Islamabad insists it did not use F-16s in the air battle, and has accused New Delhi of violating its sovereignty and territorial integrity with its strikes.

    *Outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

    Community standardsDiscussion