How IAF bombed JeM camp at Balakot despite it being in midst of densely forested area
New Delhi, Feb 26: The main target of the strike by the Indian Air Force was Maulana Yusuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
At 3.30 am on Tuesday, the Indian Air Force deep across the Line of Control.
The prime target was a huge base of the JeM, situated at Balakot. The camp is spread across 7 kilometres and is one of the main launchpads of the outfit, which regularly sends its terrorists to Kashmir.
Sources tell Oneindia that there was a lot of preparation that went into the strike. We were certain that the JeM would have moved back its terrorists from Pakistan occupied Kashmir. This was done by them in anticipation of a strike by India, following the attack at Pulwama.
The intelligence conveyed to the armed forces that the camp at Batala was very much active.
However the operation was going to be a tough one since the camp is located on a hilly terrain.
Moreover it is in the midst of a densely forested location and hence the operation was not going to be an easy one.
The IAF brought out the Mirage 2000 for this operation. After ascertaining that the intelligence was concrete, it was decided that the IAF would use laser guided bombs to strike at the terror camp. This decision was taken to ensure that the strike was a precise one.
Top sources told OneIndia that the most significant hit was at Balakot as it houses the Jaish-e-Mohammad's biggest terror camp. It has been their major launch pad and the camp is spread across 7 acres, the source also added.
Balakot is a town in the Mansehra district in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
Sources claimed that there were at least 200 to 300 casualties. The other locations to be hit were Chakothi and Muzaffarabad. During the hit at Balakot, the alpha control rooms of the JeM.
Intelligence officials say that the hit at Balakot can be considered to be most significant. First and foremost it falls under Pakistan territory and all the JeM terrorists were pushed back from PoK to this area following the Pulwama attack.
More importantly, Balakot is the biggest launch pad of the Jaish-e-Mohammad. The camp was set up in 2001 and since then it has housed several operational launch pads and has been considered to be the home of the JeM. The setting up of the camp was overseen by JeM bosses and Saifur Rehman Saifi. He is the one who fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan. He is also considered to be an architect of suicide bombings in Pakistan.
Further it houses one of the major training camps of the outfit. The training camp at Besyan Chowk is a major one and it has produced several 1,000 terrorists, intelligence sources also say.
Balakot, which is 50 kilometres away from Abbottabad, where Osama Bin Laden was killed also is a venue for the JeM to hold its propaganda meetings and rallies.