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India, Pakistan exchange heavy border fire

India, Pakistan exchange heavy border fire

The Indian Air Force (IAF) claimed on Thursday to have shot down a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 one day earlier, during a PAF raid on Indian military bases.

Al Jazeera visited the site of the Indian strikes and found that bombs hit a forest and a field in a remote area in northern Pakistan's town of Jaba, about 100km away from capital, Islamabad.

Pakistan had released Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday who was captured when his MiG 21 Bison aircraft was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force for violating the Pakistani airspace.

"I am thankful that Imran Khan returned our Pilot without any bargaining because of which his own people and ISI said that he should have bargained and shouldn't have let the Indian Pilot return without it", Digvijaya Singh said.

Punjab Governor, Chaudhry Sarwar, has called upon the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) governments to mediate between Pakistan and India in order to diffuse tensions between the two neighbouring atomic powers and bring them to dialogue.

According to Qatar News Agency, the two leaders exchanged views on the regional and global developments, especially the differences between Pakistan and India.

A senior police official confirmed that The battle erupted Friday evening and kept going for many hours in frontier Poonch district, about 180 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. The Indian army said Pakistani troops attacked Indian posts at several places along the militarized line.

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"The armed forces must have, and our security and intelligence agencies must have, a full leeway in dealing with situations, and if anybody wants operational details to be made public ... he certainly does not understand the system", Mr Jaitley said at a conference organised by the India Today media group.

Both leaders also "reiterated their commitment" to the UK-Pakistan bilateral relationship during the interaction, which follows heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following a terrorist attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

However, Indian and Pakistani forces continued their fierce artillery barrages across the Line of Control (LoC) that acts as a de facto border in the disputed Kashmir region, with several deaths. He said Pakistan was ready to accept the offer, but he did not know whether India would agree as well.

Tensions have been running high since Indian aircraft crossed into Pakistan on Tuesday, carrying out what India called a pre-emptive strike against militants blamed for a February 14 suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 Indian troops.

Cross-border shelling in the past few days has killed seven people on the Pakistani side and four on the Indian side of Kashmir.

Pakistani government official Moazzam Zafar said some 200 families already have taken shelter in three large government buildings in the territory.


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