India fighter jets 'destroy terrorist camp in Pakistan'

"Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force (the Indian aircraft) released payload in haste while escaping near Balakot".

Sources said that Ghazi - who was gunned down by the army after the February 14 attack on the CRPF convoy in which 40 soldiers were killed - was a product of Balakot, as were a majority of JeM cadres operating in the valley.

It is then clarified that "India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan".

"We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and adopt actions that will help stabilise the situation in the region and improve mutual relations", China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

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

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that "better sense" should prevail, warning India not to challenge Pakistan.

Pakistan Air Force jets were scrambled in response to the incursion, Ghafoor said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Tuesday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his daring actions to eradicate terrorism.

"Acting on intelligence, India early today struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot", he said.

The attack was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), prompting India to accuse Pakistan of harbouring the militant group.

The IAF strikes were in retaliation for a February 14 attack, which was claimed by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). "They intruded into Pakistani airspace and returned after being challenged from PAF CAP team", Maj Gen Ghafoor said, adding that the entire episode lasted four minutes.

Both nations claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir, but control only parts of it. India and Pakistan have fought three wars and a limited conflict since independence from Britain in 1947 - and all but one were over Kashmir.

Another militant attack on Indian forces in 2016 led to New Delhi saying it had launched cross border "surgical strikes" to destroy terrorist camps. India routinely accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants who cross the mountainous Himalayan region.

Muhammad Amir Rana, a security analyst and executive director of the Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, urged the global community to move quickly to de-escalate tensions.

Miller also described JeM as a Tier 1 terrorist group, especially those with state support, that have demonstrated the intention and the capability to attack USA persons or interests.

The US has said it supports India's "Right to self-defence" in the back of the attack.

  • Rogelio Becker