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Pakistan state media publishes video of captured Indian pilot

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This handout photograph released by Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on February 27, 2019, shows captured Indian pilot looking on as holding a cup of tea in the custody of Pakistani forces in an undisclosed location.

[ISLAMABAD] Pakistan state media Wednesday released a video purportedly showing a captured Indian fighter pilot being interrogated after his jet was shot down when it entered Pakistani airspace in Kashmir.

Two Pakistani security sources told AFP the video was authentic, although the military has not yet officially confirmed it.

The video shows a blindfolded man in an Indian Air Force uniform, his face bloodied, with his hands tied behind him, as a soldier interrogates him.

He gives his name, rank and serial number and when pressed for further information says, "I am not supposed to tell you that."

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In a photograph, which has also been confirmed by security sources, the pilot can be seen flanked by Pakistani military personnel.

Both Pakistan and India Wednesday claimed they had shot down each other's warplanes, in a dramatic escalation of the dangerous confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Islamabad said it downed two Indian jets in its airspace and captured two pilots, but insisted it does not "want to go towards war" with its neighbour.

Pakistani military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said one of the downed Indian planes had fallen in Pakistani-held Kashmir, while the other came down on the Indian side of the heavily militarised de facto border dividing the territory.

He said one of the captured pilots was in custody and the other was in hospital.

The Indian foreign ministry said only one of its planes had been shot down.

India's foreign ministry said on Wednesday it had told Pakistan's acting high commissioner that New Delhi expects the immediate and safe return of a military pilot held by Pakistan.

"It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

AFP, REUTERS