The Indian Air Force on Tuesday carried out pre-dawn strikes against terror camps across the Line of Control in what is being described as revenge for the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF men were martyred earlier this month. The air strikes conducted by 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets targeted one of the biggest camps of Jaish-e-Mohammad at Balakot.
The terror camp at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghouri, the brother-in-law of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. Media reports claimed that nearly 300 terrorists have been killed in the latest strikes conducted by India.
Yousuf Azhar, who is one of the 10 terrorists convicted for the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 from in December 1999, is on Interpol’s list of most wanted terrorists in India.
Confirming the air strikes, the government said that Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were planning suicide attacks in several parts of the country.
JeM's Yusuf Azhar alias Mohammad Salim alias Ustaad Gohri who was targeted today by IAF #airstrike in Balakot across LOC was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted in India. pic.twitter.com/1eTj8FhFMJ
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
“Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a 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,” it added.