New Delhi: In a retaliation to the February 14 Pulwama attack, in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu & Kashmir, India on Tuesday carried out ‘surgical strikes’ in Pakistan with top government sources even saying that there were around 200 to 300 casualties across the border.
As per reports, terror launch pads across the LoC in Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad sectors have completely been destroyed along with Jaish-e-Mohammed control rooms. Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force crossed the border and dropped precision strike bombs on terror camps, causing considerable damage.
The strike is believed to have taken place around 4 am and the Pakistani establishment came out with a public statement an hour later, claiming air space violation by India.
Major General Asif Ghafoor of the Pakistani Armed Forces took to Twitter to write, “Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Armed Forces immediately scrambled. Indian aircraft gone back. Details to follow.”
The tweet was posted around 5 am on Tuesday morning soon after which reports started flowing in saying that the force was targeting a JeM hideout in Balakot sector with laser-guided bombs.
Another tweet soon followed that read, “Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.”
Issuing the first official statement, Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale briefed the media soon after the strikes on Tuesday morning. Gokhale said that credible information was received that JeM was attempting other attacks in the country and fidayeens were being trained for this purpose.
“In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary. In an intelligence based information India struck the biggest camp of JeM in Balakot. A large number of JeM terrorists including groups of jihadis trained for fidayeen attack have been eliminated today,” the foreign secretary said.
He also said that information regarding training camps and their existence has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan, however, denies their existence and did not take any action.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level CCS meeting in New Delhi along with Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Arun Jaitley on the attack.