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Tensions Increase as India Demands Pakistan Free Pilot

Video shows prisoner blindfolded and bloody
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2019 6:26 PM CST
Pakistani soldiers patrol in the area where Indian planes launched an airstrike on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Aqeel Ahmed)
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(Newser) – India has demanded that Pakistan release a fighter pilot shot down Wednesday over Kashmir, after a video was released showing the man blindfolded and bloody. India called the video a "vulgar display of an injured personnel," the BBC reports. Pakistan said the pilot was being "treated as per norms of military ethics." Pakistan says it shot down two Indian warplanes, the biggest escalation of the conflict over Kashmir in years, after India launched an airstrike on what it called an insurgent camp in Pakistan. India said that attack was a response to a bombing that killed at least 40 of its troops in Kashmir; Pakistan denies involvement in the bombing, CNN reports. Both nations control parts of Kashmir but claim all of it.

And both nations say they don't want war. India will act "with responsibility and restraint," its foreign minister said. "We should sit down and talk," Pakistan's prime minister said. The fears are widespread: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has talked to officials in both countries, and the British foreign minister said his government also has been working to defuse the situation. "You have two nuclear powers who have a long history of tension squaring up against each other and now in the start of some kind of military conflict," Jeremy Hunt said, per the CBC. "So it's an extremely dangerous situation." (Bombing was deadliest in Kashmir history.)

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