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300 could have died in Balakot strike says wing commander, Abhinandan’s father

By Anuj Cariappa
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Chennai, Apr 04: The laser guided smart bombs used in the Balakot air strike could have killed 250 to 300 terrorists said, Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman (retd), father of wing commander Abhinandan, who was briefly in Pakistan's custody.

While addressing students at the IIT-Madras, he said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike happened at a time when maximum targets were inside the camp. While the structural damages may have been limited, the fuse of the bomb is delayed to ensure maximum damage, he said.

300 could have died in Balakot strike says wing commander, Abhinandan’s father

He further added that the F-16s and AMRAAM missiles used by Pakistan were a big threat to India. First, we had to get the F-16s of our back, by ensuring that they were heading towards another direction, while we were going to Balakot, he said.

De-briefing over: What next for Abhinandan Varthaman

He explained that India launched seven aircraft towards Bahawalpur, which is the headquarters of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). This gave Pakistan the impression that we were heading towards the JeM headquarters. While they sent the F-16s to engage with our fighter aircrafts, we simultaneously launched an attack at Balakot, he said.

He said that this was his reading of the events while also adding that this may not be absolutely true. He added that Pakistan was in a state of high alert and knew that an attack was imminent. However the country did not expect that we would get into their territory, he further added.

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