India says carried out air strike on 'terror camp' inside Pakistan


Indian forces and air defenses have been put on high alert in anticipation of retaliatory action by Pakistan, which had vowed to respond to any military action by India.

The statement came days after a senior French source told PTI that France will be moving a proposal at the United Nations to ban Masood Azhar, chief of the UN-proscribed JeM which has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack.

New Delhi had threatened to retaliate after the deadliest attack in three decades in Kashmir killed more than 40 Indian paramilitaries.

CSIS also said Pakistan's missile programme, which is built with help from China, includes mobile short- and medium-range weapons that can reach any part of India.

Balakot police chief Saghir Hussain Shah told the Associated Press that the bombs had been dropped on a sparsely populated forest area.

"There are no casualties, there are no damages on the ground because of the dropping of the bombs", he said.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that "better sense" should prevail, warning India not to challenge Pakistan. Pakistan has scrambled fighter jets in response.

The Indian military would not report on the results of its sortie into Pakistan.

"Besides the symbolic value of the camp and its importance for Jaish's war against India, Azhar's continuous presence there was one of the main reason that the government made a decision to target the Balakot camp", said a security official.

"Credible intelligence was received that JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this goal".

Indian media started thumping chest soon after Delhi claimed that Indian Air Force (IAF) jets had struck what it called the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant group in Balakot area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in a pre-dawn air strike, flattening the compound and killing 350 so-called terrorists. Gen Asif Ghafoor, said Indian planes crossed into the Muzafarabad sector of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

In a village 100m from the Line of Control (LoC) that acts as the de facto border with Pakistan, men gathered around a bunker for security forces that is under construction and shouted slogans hailing India.

TRT World spoke to Islamabad-based Kamran Yousaf about possible reaction from Pakistan. Pakistan at the time claimed no Indian incursion had occurred. "We will shut them and let the people of Pakistan and the world know", he said.

The military spokesperson said that the Indian objective was to target civilians and then project them as terrorists - something that Modi wanted to use to gain political mileage for the upcoming election.