130-170 killed in Balakot Air Strikes: Italian journalist

New Delhi | An Italian journalist named Francesca Marino in a recently published report has pointed out that as many as 130 to 170 militants have been killed in the Balakot Air Strikes.

This revelation comes amid the increasing political speculation and demand for evidence of the air strikes.

The IAF air strikes in Balakot came days after the deadly Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were martyred.

Pakistan based JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack.

The air strikes were carried out early dawn on February 26, in what is termed as a “retaliation” for the Pulwama attacks.

According to a report by Italian journalist Francesca Marino on, the airstrike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot led to the death of 130-170 JeM recruits.

The journalist reports quoting sources that while the Indian Air Force bombed the JeM camp at 3.30 AM on February 26, 2019, a unit of the Pakistan Army reached the spot at around 6 AM.

The Pakistan Army unit quickly evacuated the injured to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) camp in Shinkiari, where Pakistan Army doctors were brought in for treatment.

She claims that 20 had died during the treatment, while some 45 are still undergoing one.

The ones who have recovered are in custody of the Pakistan Army, according to her report.

“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.

The report further goes on to mention that massive efforts have been carried out to keep the information as veiled as possible.

A group of JeM members have visited the wounded and the dead’s families.

Cash compensation was paid to them to not reveal the information.

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

The Pakistani Army is now in control of the camp, where the traces of all the terrorist activities have been removed.

Just a few days ago, Pulwama mastermind and JeM chief Masood Azhar was listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations.

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