Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, on Tuesday, confirmed that the Indian Air Force had carried out a non-military, pre-emptive attack on "the biggest training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad" terror outfit across the border in Pakistan. The pre-dawn strike involved 12 Mirage 2000 jets that dropped 1,000-kilogram bombs on the location.
With Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeting that the IAF jets had dropped the payload "in haste" near Balakot, confusion ensued about whether the IAF strike took place just across the Line of Control in the town located in Mansehra district of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, or in a similarly named town Bala Kote near the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch sector.
Gokhale, in his briefing, has confirmed that the IAF targeted JeM camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Now, the exact location of the main strike has been pinpointed as the Jaba Top (also known as the Jabba Top), located in the province's Mansehra district.
Jaba is believed to have housed a JeM stronghold, with as many as 200 fidayeens at the time of the IAF operation. It is a 40-minute drive from both Mansehra and Balakot towns in Mansehra district.
According to defence sources, IAF fighter jets not only targeted the JeM camp, but also Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen camps near Muzaffarabad, which lies between the LoC and Jaba Top,. There were as many as six targets in the IAF operation, including Chakothi, Balakot and Muzaffarabad.
Reports are also coming in for the fact that five terror camps were independently targeted at Kangar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
It is learnt that India had shared with US intelligence inputs on eight big and 24 small terror training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Pakistan.
The list mentions a huge camp housing more than 200 terror recruits on Mansehra Ridge and another terror camp run by JeM, called Bukad Bud, near Mansehra. It is not known which of these camps were the targets of Tuesday's operation.
In the light of the IAF strike, the situation is tense across Kashmir valley, particularly near the border.
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Updated Date: Feb 26, 2019 13:47:36 IST