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Jaish chief Masood Azhar's brother confirms IAF air strike on Balakot

“Let me remind you that the Indian aircrafts did not bomb the safe house of any agency, they didn’t attack any headquarters, they didn’t attack the meeting points of agencies (JeM), they attacked the schools where students were being trained to understand jihad better and vowed to help “oppressed” Kashmiris. By entering our territories and attacking our schools, India has ensured the beginning of jihad against them,” Maulana Ammar said further in the recording.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 3 March 2019 5:05 AM GMT

Jaish chief Masood Azhars brother confirms IAF air strike on Balakot
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Jaish chief Masood Azhar's brother confirms IAF air strike on Balakot
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New Delhi: The statement given by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and an audio message issued by a senior leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed appears to obfuscate the fact that Indian jets hit the Pakistan-based terrorist training camps in Balakot on Monday.

Where, Shah Mahmood said in a statement that the Indian operation hit only a patch of trees, Jaish chief Masood Azhar's brother confirmed that Indian Air force had targeted the Madarsa (Muslim schools) and had inflicted serious damage to the buildings.

In this audio message, which seems to bear the voice of Maulana Ammar (who has been identified as the brother of JeM founder Masood Azhar), could clearly be heard urging people to avenge the strike on their training camps by IAF.

“The enemy announced a war by crossing its borders to enter an Islamic country and launching bombs on Muslim schools. So, raise your weapons and show them if jihad is still an obligation or a duty.”

This recording, which officials believe was made two days after the Balakot air strike, was played out as an address to terrorists at the Madrassah Sanan bin Salma in Peshawar. It was first tweeted out by a Pakistani journalist who lives in France and has been verified by Indian security agencies, officials said.

“Let me remind you that the Indian aircrafts did not bomb the safe house of any agency, they didn’t attack any headquarters, they didn’t attack the meeting points of agencies (JeM), they attacked the schools where students were being trained to understand jihad better and vowed to help “oppressed” Kashmiris. By entering our territories and attacking our schools, India has ensured the beginning of jihad against them,” Maulana Ammar said further in the recording.

A senior Indian security agency official said the recording was a “clear confirmation of the effectiveness of the airstrikes”. “The tone and tenor of the message also indicate that the strikes have hit the group hard forcing a senior functionary to issue a message to their cadre,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

Foreign secretary VK Gokhale said the action was carried out to pre-empt further fidayeen style attacks on India.

The airstrike was conducted after receiving credible intelligence of more possible Pulwama like attacks in India and that more fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose.

According to sources at the site of the bombings, four large craters could be seen, and up to 15 pine trees were brought down by the blasts.

The buildings were targeted by the IAF’s highly accurate, jammer-proof Israeli bombs ( S-2000 PGM), which are not meant to destroy the building but only to cause damage after they enter a building.

“It first penetrates through the roof, then enters the building and explodes after a delay. It is meant to hit the command and control centres and does not destroy the building. The software has to be programmed with the type of roof – its thickness, material of construction etc. – and that, accordingly, sets the delay period for the PGM,” said an expert.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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