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IAF’s Balakot strikes killed 130-170 JeM cadres, 45 being treated

IAF’s Balakot strikes killed 130-170 JeM cadres, 45 being treated: In a fresh revelation, an Italian journalist has claimed that 130-170 Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists may have been killed in the February 26 Indian Air Force airstrike at Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.  The Indian Air Force had carried out an airstrike in the dead of the night 13 days after the deadly suicide bombing at Pulwama on February 14 in which 40 CRPF jawans had been killed.

 

“Despite Pakistan’s efforts to deceive the world on the Indian airstrikes on the Jaish-e-Muhammad camp, small details of what happened in Balakot in the wee hours of February 26 and thereafter have kept trickling in from my source,” Italian journalist Francesca Marino wrote in her report.

Speaking to India Today TV, the journalist accused Pakistan of lying as the country has maintained that the Indian Air Force airstrike did not lead to any damage or casualties.

IAF’s Balakot strikes killed 130-170 Jaish terrorists, claims Italian journalist

“Despite Pakistan’s efforts to deceive the world on the Indian airstrikes on the Jaish-e-Muhammad camp, small details of what happened in Balakot in the wee hours of February 26 and thereafter have kept trickling in from my source,” Italian journalist Francesca Marino wrote in her report.

In her report, she says that around 6 am, two and a half hours after the 330 am IAF airstrike, an army unit from their camp in Shinkiari arrived at the camp.

She writes, “Immediately after the Army unit arrival, the injured were taken to a Harkat-ul-Mujahideen camp, located in Shinkiari and treated by Pakistan Army doctors. Local sources say around 45 persons are still undergoing treatment in this camp, while around 20 have died during treatment due to serious injuries. Those who have recovered are still in custody of the Army and have not been discharged.”

In her report, titled, “Balakot: more details revealed”, she also suggests that in order to prevent news of the fatalities from leaking through statements of family members of the killed cadres, a JeM group visited the families of those killed and “handed over cash compensation to them”.

Marino said that the inputs are based on information gathered over the last few weeks through reliable sources in the region.

“The numbers estimated have ranged from 130-170, including those who have died during treatment. Those killed included 11 trainers, ranging from bomb makers to those imparting weapons training,” she wrote.

She also highlights that the hilltop training camp is still under the control of the Pakistan army, with a captain rank officer of the Mujahid battalion in command.

Even local police are not allowed to access the road leading to the training camp, she said in her report.

She also indicates that the JeM leadership has assured its cadres that the group “will take its revenge when the time is ripe.”