Tanks make their way to Intl Border as IAF jets strike Pakistan based terror camps

Indian Air Force (IAF) jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and reportedly destroyed a major terrorist camp in Balakote sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir

Tanks make their way to Intl Border as IAF jets strike Pakistan based terror camps
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Ashutosh Sharma

In an early morning operation, Indian Air Force (IAF) jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and reportedly destroyed a major terrorist camp in Balakote sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan also claimed that Indian aircraft have breached the ceasefire line in Muzaffarabad sector and released payloads as they allegedly escaped back over the border.

The airstrike took place at 3.30 am, according to media reports quoting unnamed IAF sources, that led to 200-300 casualties on the Pakistani side.

The reports said that at least 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the pre-dawn strike and dropped 1,000 kg bombs were dropped on terror camps across the LoC.

Defence ministry sources as quoted by media, claimed that laser guided bombs were used in the operation.

The reported strike has come days after the Pulwama suicide bombing in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed on February 14. Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack.

However, the terror attack escalated tensions between the two neighbours, with New Delhi vowing to take stern action against Islamabad.


On the other side, Pakistan claimed that the incursion caused no casualties or damage.


Pakistan’s armed forces spokesman major-general Asif Ghafoor said on Tuesday morning there had been contact between the two countries’ aircraft after a breach by the Indian side.

“Indian Air Force violated Line of Control,” Ghafoor tweeted around 5 am. “Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back.”

In another tweet he added: “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.”

Pertinently, Poonch district got divided between India and Pakistan during 1947-48 war. While a part of Balakote tehsil is with India, more than 75 percent lies with the Pakistan. The LoC resulted into thousands of divided families on both the sides. In 2006, Chakan-da-Bagh—once a mine­field—was turned into a border crossing point for the Poonch-Rawalkote cross-LoC bus. Eventually, cross-LoC trade too was started but it’s all still just a symbolic exercise, remaining hostage to border hostilities.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army has started moving tanks towards International Border (IB) in Jammu sector. According to local residents, a red alert has been sounded along the IB and LoC.

Additionally, the local administration has identified several government schools well behind the border for setting up camps for the migrants in case border tension escalates into more intense conflict in the region.

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