Published: Sun, March 03, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

India launched airstrikes on 'terror camps' inside Pakistan - minister

India launched airstrikes on 'terror camps' inside Pakistan - minister

India said air force jets hit a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the militant group that claimed credit for a February 14 suicide bombing attack that killed Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir, a mountainous region also claimed by neighboring Pakistan.

"Once again Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim".

The incursion could have been in retaliation for a deadly February 14 suicide bombing in India's half of Kashmir that killed at least 40 troops.

Bangladesh hopes that nuclear-armed India and Pakistan will immediately take measures to deescalate the tension.

Gen. Asif Ghafoor said the Indian jets had dropped their bombs "in haste while escaping" from a "timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force".

In 2016 as well, following another large attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir, New Delhi said its troops crossed the LoC and carried out a so-called "surgical strike" on suspected militant camps across the border in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

"Pakistan reserves the right to self-defence and respond to such aggression", he said.

The sources said India will have a much wider choice of aircraft to carry out precision strikes when Rafale jets are inducted into the IAF as they are capable of hitting targets at longer range.

British officials have been in "close contact" at senior levels in New Delhi and Islamabad, besides taking steps to promote global efforts to avoid escalation. He underlined that "no casualties or damage" resulted from the attack.

The official Twitter handle of the Aam Aadmi Party used a video clip from the Bollywood movie Border to congratulate the Air Force.

"I salute the pilots of the IAF", Rahul Gandhi, leader of India's main opposition Congress, said in a tweet.

Indian jets have targeted and bombed a militant camp in Pakistani territory, India's foreign secretary said on Tuesday. Pakistan has denied involvement in the attack but has vowed to respond to any Indian military operation against it.

Radio Pakistan also said that the country's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi would brief the media after the meeting.

The Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility.

"We remain in contact with both countries and what we believe is essential is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions", European Union spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.

"We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and adopt actions that will help stabilise the situation in the region and improve mutual relations", China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

Insurgents in the Indian-controlled Kashmir have been demanding either outright independence or union with Pakistan.

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