Indian jets carried out airstrikes against a militant camp in Pakistan, in an escalation of tensions between the two countries following the February 14 suicide bombing attack in the disputed Kashmir region.
Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that the airstrikes hit a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan’s Balakot, when speaking at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Gokhale that a “non-military pre-emptive action” was conducted after a “credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammad was attempting other suicide terror attacks in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose.”
“In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary,” said the Indian top diplomat.
Gokhale stressed that India has been “repeatedly” urging Pakistan to dismantle the JeM base, claiming that “the existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jidhadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of the Pakistani authorities.”
He did not give a precise figure for the casualties but noted that “a very large number” of JeM militants were killed in the operation.