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IAF air strikes across LoC: IAF jets blow up Jaish-e-Mohammed’s main terror camp in ‘non-military strike’: Govt

On IAF airstrikes on terror camp across LoC, Foreign Secretary said the strikes specifically targeted the Jaish and India had made sure that there are no civilian casualties.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2019 16:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
The strike on terror camp comes 12 days after the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans.
The strike on terror camp comes 12 days after the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans.(PTI FIle Photo/Representative image)
         

Indian forces carried out a strike at the biggest camp of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot early this morning, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Tuesday, hours after IAF dropped 1,000 pound bombs in a thickly-forested hilltop that has eliminated a large number of terrorists. This camp was headed by Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Maulana Yousuf Azhar.

The strikes was carried out on the basis of credible intelligence and designed to target the Jaish camp without any civilian casualties, Gokhale announced hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a top security meet to review the cross-border strike.

The foreign secretary also launched a global outreach, briefing envoys of the USA, UK, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey and six Asean nations on the Indian air strike across LoC in Balakot.

The strike on terror camp comes 12 days after the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans after a Jaish terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy on Jammu-Srinagar highway on February 14.

Watch | ‘Air Force bombed JeM’s biggest camp in Pakistan’: Foreign Secretary

Also read | IAF hits main Jaish camp deep across LoC, 200-300 killed: Sources

The government said it had expected the Jaish to carry out more terror attacks.

“Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary,” he said.

Gokhale’s briefing was the first formal statement from the government on the overnight strike by IAF’s Mirage-2000 jets. Sources told HT earlier that the laser-guided 1,000 pound bombs caused an estimated casualty of 200-300.

Catch live updates here.

The Foreign Secretary did not get into the details of the strike but he underlined that “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis” being trained for suicide attacks were eliminated.

“Strikes happened only a short while ago. We are waiting for more details,” he said.

India also underlined how Pakistan had not acted against the Jaish that had been banned by the United Nations, despite being informed about the presence of the camps many times.

“The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jidhadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities,” the top official said.

Also read | Fully prepared to respond , says Pak, calls emergency meet after IAF strike

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has called an “emergency meeting” after India carried out air strikes across the LoC and destroyed terror camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.