India confirms air strikes inside Pakistan

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 26, 2019 - Duration: 01:53s

India confirms air strikes inside Pakistan

Indian jets crossed into Pakistani territory on Tuesday, conducting what one minister said was an air strike on "terror camps," dramatically escalating tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors who have fought three wars against each other.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

India confirms air strikes inside Pakistan

India says it carried out air strikes in Pakistan on Tuesday (February 26) - the latest sign of dramatically escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

India's foreign secretary said the raids targeted a militant training camp, from the same group that claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Kashmir earlier in February.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) INDIAN FOREIGN SECRETARY (TOP DIPLOMAT), VIJAY KESHAV GOKHALE, SAYING: "India struck the biggest training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot.

In this operation, a very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders, and groups of Jihadis who have been trained for Fidayeen action were eliminated." Protests have broken out on both sides in the weeks following the suicide attack.

Pakistan has downplayed Tuesday's incident, acknowledging that Indian aircraft had violated its airspace but they claim there was no damage, nor casualties.

Pakistan's foreign minister says its forces are prepared to respond.

An Indian minister said the air raids were a necessary step for the defense of India.

And that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a free hand to the military - after one of the deadliest attacks in the disputed region of Kashmir in decades.

The suicide bombing on February 14th was claimed by a Pakistani-based militant group.

Forty Indian paramilitary officers were killed - and India placed the blame on its neighbor.

It accuses Pakistan of harboring the Jaesh-e-Mohammad militant group.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan denied his country was involved and offered to help in an investigation - if any credible evidence was provided.

He said at the time, Pakistan would retaliate if India attacked the country.

Shelling across Kashmir's so-called line of control - the de facto border between the two countries - is a frequent occurrence, but airspace violations are extremely rare.

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