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'There is no official death toll', says Nirmala Sitharaman on Balakot air strike


New Delhi, Mar 05: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the Balakot airstrike, where the Indian Air Force targeted and destroyed a JeM camp in Pakistan last week, was "not a military action" as there was no damage to civilians. She also claimed that the government stand is clear and that there is no official death toll.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had not given any casualty figure in the airstrike and he had only given a statement, which was the government's "position", Sitharaman told reporters here.

[Far lesser incidents of terrorism than prior to 2014, says Nirmala Sitharaman]

Gokhale on Tuesday had said the non-military pre-emptive strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot had killed "very large number" of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.

Sitharaman's remarks come amidst the opposition seeking details of the death toll in the airstrike.

On February 14, a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based JeM rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, killing 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.

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