New Delhi: Close to 10 F-16 Pakistani fighter jets took off from Pakistan airbase to carry out massive destruction by bombing Indian Army brigade headquarters and other military establishments, which the Indian Air Force (IAF) jets thwarted on Wednesday morning while shooting down one F-16 fighter jet.

Sources told MyNation, reacting to IAF’s Mirage-2000 bombing of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terror facility in Balakot, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) sent 10 F-16 jets from Nurkhan, Sargodha and Islamabad air bases. All the 10 jets made a formation over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and proceeded at cruising speeds towards the Naushera sector.

It may be noted that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the same area in Pakistan where the IAF had carried out the bombing on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s F-16 jets had to destroy ammunition dump and Army brigade headquarters, sources said. Even the MEA had stated that PAF aircraft had targeted crucial military installations on the Indian side. This is in stark contrast to the non-military operation conducted by the IAF against terrorist launch pads in Pakistani territory.

The IAF was quick to catch Pakistani jet on the radar. It scrambled five jets including two MiG-21s and three Sukhoi Su-30MKIs to destroy the intruders with clear instruction to ‘kill and destroy’.

Noticing the Indian jets, the Pakistani counterparts started retreating, dropping their bombs in an abandoned area in Naushera. During the action, an IAF MiG-21 shot down an F-16, which was on the return leg to its air space. The plane crashed in the PoK area and a parachute was seen as the F-16 went down. However, the condition of the Pakistani pilot is still unknown.

The twin seated F-16D had two pilots in it, who bailed out over the Lam sector 3 km inside Pakistan.

During the operation, one Indian MiG-21 could not be accounted for. However, it helped in thwarting major destruction of the Army brigade headquarters in the Naushera sector and oil depot there.

Pakistan’s jets lured a MiG-21 jet into an ambush and captured its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman after bringing down his plane, which fell into Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan initially claimed that they had shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured two pilots. But later in the day, they revised the statement to say they had captured just one — that of a MiG-21. They released a video showing him. The fighter pilot has been identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.