JeM center at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, who is the brother-in-law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar.
Leaders across political parties hailed the Indian Air Force after it carried out airstrikes on terror camps across the Line of Control.
The Indian Air Force carried out airstrikes on the biggest camp of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said. He added that the airstrikes were pre-emptive and the largest JeM training camp was struck by the IAF (Indian Air Force).
“Credible intelligence was received that the JeM was attempting other suicide attacks in various parts of the country and the fidayeen terrorists were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary. India has struck the biggest training camp of the JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who have been trained for fidayeen action were eliminated,” Vijay Gokhale said.
“India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all measures to fight the menace of terrorism. This non-military pre-emptive action was targeted specifically at JeM camp. The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties,” Gokhale added. He however did not give further details and said that information will be provided as and when they have it.
According to IAF sources, quoted by ANI, as many as 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force took part in the operation. According to reports, 1,000 kgs bombs were dropped on terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC). Sources have said that at around 0330 hours on the 26th February the Mirage 2000 fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it.
IAF’s action comes days after Jaish-e-Mohammed trained terrorist attacked a CRPF convoy on Jammu-Srinagar Highway in Pulwama on February 14. 40 jawans sacrificed lives. According to various reports, control rooms of Jaish-e-Mohammed have been destroyed in the aerial strike by IAF. The strike is said to have taken place near Balakot, which is said to be quite a distance from the LoC.
Situated on the banks of the Kunhar river, the camp offered the possibility of aquatic training to terrorists. The trainers at the camp were “ex-Army personnel”.
At the Balakot camp, the JeM cadres undergo different types of training courses such as a three-month advanced combat course known as Daura-e-Khas, an advanced armed training course called Daum-al-Raad and a refresher training programme, the note said.