India confirms air strike at main Jaish camp in Balakot
New Delhi : India carried out "non-military, pre-emptive air strikes" across the Line of Control to wipe out terror camps, including the main Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group training camp, the government said on Tuesday.
Indian Air Force fighter jet planes dropped bombs on the terror camps, killing over 300 terrorists including Jaish chief Masood Azhar's brother-in-law.
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.
"There was very credible intelligence info that JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) was planning to carry out terror strikes across India, thereby making this strike absolutely necessary. It was a non-military, pre-emptive strike," he said.
"Credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country and fidayeen jihadis (suicide bombers) were being trained for this purpose," the Foreign Secretary added.
"India has given proof many times seeking action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and others at terror camps so big, that they can train hundreds of jihadis and terrorists at any given time. But due to Pakistan's inaction, this step was necessary and had to be taken," he asserted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing a public meeting in Rajasthan's Churu, said, "I assure you, the country is in safe hands."
Pakistan Reaction on Balakot Air Strike
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired an emergency meeting, after which Islamabad said in a statement: "India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing."