Indian Air Force fighter planes struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp across the Line of Control in Balakote, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa early on Tuesday morning, intelligence sources have said.
The IAF used Mirage-2000 jets with laser-guided bombs causing an estimated casualty of 200-300, the sources said. The laser guided bombs are built with Israeli technology and were first used in Kargil. The air strike happened around 3.30 am.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a top security meet at his official residence to review the situation. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are among those present at the Cabinet Committee of Security meeting.
According to top government sources, the Balakote camp is spread around 6 to 7 acres and is the biggest Jaish e Mohammed camp in Pakistan.
While all top government officials are refusing to take the call, a top intelligence source confirmed the strike at one of the biggest Jaish e Mohammed camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. According to analysts, the strike confirmed that India will deploy full spectrum deterrence if hit by a terror strike by Pakistan based terrorist group.
“The Modi government made it clear from Uri 2016 that every terror strike will be met with a retaliation ,” said a top diplomat. “The question in the past was should we or should we not. Now it is when where and how.”.
The strike comes almost two weeks after a terror attack killed 40 CRPF troopers in Pulwama in south Kashmir that raised tensions between India and Pakistan. The suicide bombing had led to calls for punitive strikes against Pakistan for harbouring terrorists.
Pakistan’s Director General of Inter Services Public Relations Pakistan, Asif Ghafoor, tweeted, “Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.”