by WorldTribune Staff, February 26, 2019
India’s government said its fighter jets destroyed a major terrorist camp in Pakistan on Feb. 26.
More than 300 people were reportedly killed in the strike on jihadist group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s camp in Balakot, Pakistan.
India had not carried out an airstrike in Pakistani territory since the Indo-Pakistan war over Bangladesh in 1971.
Tensions between the two nuclear states had increased substantially since Feb. 14, when a suicide car bombing in Kashmir killed 40 members of India’s security forces. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.
India accused Pakistan of having a “direct hand” in the Feb. 14 attack.
“Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country… In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary,” Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters in Delhi.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office said Pakistan would respond to the Feb. 26 incident “at the time and place of its choosing,” and rejected India’s claim that it had hit a terror camp or inflicted heavy casualties.
“Once again the Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim,” a statement from Khan’s office said.
Khan said the country’s armed forces and the public should “remain prepared for all eventualities.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is up for re-election this May, did not specifically mention the attack on Pakistan at a Feb. 26 rally in Rajasthan, but insisted that India was “in safe hands” and declared it a “glorious day.”