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India prepares for war as bunkers are built along Pakistan border

India is preparing for war with the construction of 14,000 bunkers to protect families on the Pakistan border as Islamabad invokes the spectre of nuclear conflict, telling India ‘better sense’ is needed.

Earlier today Pakistan and India said they had shot down each other’s warplanes, in a dramatic escalation of the dangerous confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan said it downed two Indian jets in its airspace and captured two pilots, later amended to one: whom they then seemingly paraded – blindfolded and bloodied – for the camera.

On Tuesday evening, Islamabad used heavy calibre artillery to shell 12 to 15 places along the Indian side creating panic among the populace on the border where bunkers are being hastily thrown up to ease their fears.

The downed pilot was named today as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

Earlier today, India confirmed the loss of one of its planes and said it had shot down a Pakistani fighter jet, in a conflict played out over the skies of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

In a sign of the deepening crisis, Pakistan closed its airspace ‘until further notice’. At least six airports were shuttered in India, and a vast area of airspace north of New Delhi was closed to civilian flights.

However,  Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged for ‘wisdom and better sense’ as he opened up for talks with Indian leaders saying: ‘If escalation begins from here, where will it go?’

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States says that the lack of U.S. condemnation for an Indian airstrike inside his country is seen by his government as having increased tensions between the two neighbours.