Modi holds Cabinet committee meeting after air strike on terror camp


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security at his official residence in New Delhi following an Indian Air Force strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Pakistan early this morning (February 26).

Twelve Mirage 2000 jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and dropped 1,000 kg bombs destroying the camp completely, avenging the Pulwama terror attack, reported ANI news agency.  “IAF crosses LoC for the first time since 1971 war,” tweeted The Times of India.

There were 200 to 300 estimated casualties in the air strike at the camp at Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province reported the Hindustan Times. The Mirage jets used laser-guided bombs built with Israeli technology which were first used in Kargil, it said.

The air strike around 3.30 am (Indian Standard Time) today comes 12 days after a terrorist attack at Pulwama in Kashmir claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel. The Jaish-e-Mohammed group claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to punish those responsible.

According to government sources, the Balakot camp is spread around six to seven acres and is the biggest Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Pakistan.
The Cabinet Committee on Security meeting today was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Pakistan’s Director General of Inter Services Public Relations Pakistan, Asif Ghafoor, tweeted, “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.”

The air strike was confirmed by India’s Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Twitter. “Air Force carried out aerial strike early morning today at terror camps across the LoC (Line of Control) and Completely destroyed it,” he tweeted.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “I salute the pilots of the IAF.”