India has confirmed the attack on the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad, the terror group which was involved in the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy.
Around 3.30 am, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets crossed the Line of Control and dropped 1,000 kg bombs on the vast terror training facility at Balakot, which was the hub of suicide attack training, said government sources. Several terrorists, trainers and Jaish commanders planning terror strikes in India were killed, said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
Indian jets conducted air strikes against a militant camp in Pakistani territory on Tuesday, India’s foreign secretary said, and a Indian government source said 300 militants had been killed, but Pakistan denied there had been any casualties.
The 7 pieces of equipment used by the IndianAirForce in today’s air strikes in Pakistan.
“Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary, said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.”
The air strikes hit a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the group that claimed credit for a suicide car bomb attack killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir on Feb. 14, ratcheting up tensions between the two nuclear armed neighbors.
The action was ordered as India said it had intelligence that Jaish was planning more attacks.
“In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary,” Vijay Gokhale, India’s top diplomat, told reporters.
“The existence of such training facilities, capable of training hundreds of jihadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of the Pakistani authorities,” Gokhale said.
Pakistan denies harboring JeM, a primarily anti-India group that forged ties with al Qaeda and has been on a UN terror list since 2001. In December 2001, Jaish fighters, along with members of another Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, launched an attack on India’s parliament, which almost resulted in the two countries going to war for a fourth time.
Gokhale said “a very large number” of militants were killed in a strike on a training base in Balakot, a town in a remote valley in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, but did not provide a precise figure for the casualties.
The commander of the camp was Maulana Yusuf Azhar, a brother-in-law of JeM leader Masood Azhar, Gokhale said.
A senior Indian government source said that 300 militants had been killed in the strikes. But no details were provided.
Pakistan downplayed the severity of air strike, saying its own warplanes had chased off the Indian aircraft, which had released their “payload” in a forested area, causing no casualties and no serious material damage.
This morning, the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control for the first time since 1971.