Earlier in the wee hours of the day, Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighters destroyed multiple terrorist camps deep inside Pakistan to avenge the death of soldiers in the Pulwama terror attack. The Indian Air Force had carried out the pre-emptive attack to destroy the terror camps operated by the proscribed terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad. It was reported that the IAF jets had pulverised terror camps in Balakot (Pakistan), Muzaffarabad (PoK) and Chakoti (PoK) in the well-planned strike involving a fleet of IAF jets and other military jets.
The reports are now pouring in corroborating the claims of air strikes at Balakot in Pakistan. According to a report by the BBC, one of the residents in Balakot has confirmed the attack that took place at around 3 am in the morning. “I heard the sounds of explosions around 3 am, there were simultaneous 4-5 big explosions preceded by the noise of jets flying above. However, after 10 mins they had gone,” one of the residents of Balakot claimed. He further added that later when they went to one of the sites where the bomb was dropped, 4-5 buildings were damaged and people injured.
First confirmation from Pakistan of Strike by Indian Air Force. BBC Urdu video from Jaba Post, Balakot, KPK where a local says that there were 5 big blasts after 3am at night followed by Jets leaving within 10 minutes. Many casualties and several injured. How can Pakistan deny? pic.twitter.com/izac7IGFsR
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) February 26, 2019
However, Pakistan spokesperson for Pakistan Armed Forces Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor had downplayed the air strikes, claiming that Indian aircrafts’ intrusion happened across the LOC in Muzaffarabad Sector within Pakistan occupied Kashmir. He also tried to hide his country’s defence failure by alleging that the ‘payload’ that was dropped by the IAF Mirage-2000 had fallen on the open area, with no damage to infrastructure, neither any casualties. This is not much different from Pakistan’s reaction after Surgical Strikes.
Indian aircrafts’ intrusion across LOC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJ&K was 3-4 miles.Under forced hasty withdrawal aircrafts released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 26, 2019
But the latest admission by the residents of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunwa debunks the tenuous defence mounted by the Pakistan armed forces spokesperson in the wake of another surgical strike in their country. The corroboration from locals also means that the Indian Air Force had crossed the International border for the first time in decades to strike terror targets deep inside Pakistan.
The terror camp annihilated in Balakot was an Alpha-3 terror camp of the Jaish-e-Muhammad. It was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar, brother-in-law of the JeM chief Masood Azhar. It is believed that Maulana Yusuf Azhar has been killed in the attacks along with the fatalities count somewhere between 200-300.