India carried out pre-dawn air strikes on terror training camps across the Line of Control on Tuesday. At around 3:30 this morning, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force dropped 1,000 kg bombs on terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.
Sources told NDTV that the strikes were “100 percent successful” and went on “exactly as planned”.
“Credible information was received that JeM was attempting other attacks in the country. A pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary. India struck the biggest camp of JeM in Balakot,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters in a brief statement.“In an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by MAULANA YOUSUF AZHAR (alias USTAD GHOURI), the brother-in-law of MASOOD AZHAR, Chief of JeM,” Gokhale concluded.
Mirage 2000 jets hit Balakot 24 KM NW of Muzaffarabad at 3:45 am and the strike went on till 3:53 am. Hitting Balakot is a historic high for IAF because it not only crossed the LoC (Line of Actual Control), they crossed the entire Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and then hit the target inside Khyber Pakhtukhwa.
“The military has taken this necessary step for the country’s security. It was an act of extreme valour. PM Modi had earlier given the armed forces the freedom to take action. Today, the entire country is with the forces,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters in the first official acknowledgement of the operation.
The strike comes two weeks after 40 CRPF soldiers were killed in a terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama.