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News18 Wrap: Indian Air Force Destroys JeM Camps in Balakot, Pakistan Vows Retaliation & Other Stories You Missed

News18 Wrap brings you some of the biggest stories on News18.com today to help you stay updated at all times.

News18.com

Updated:February 26, 2019, 7:56 PM IST
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News18 Wrap: Indian Air Force Destroys JeM Camps in Balakot, Pakistan Vows Retaliation & Other Stories You Missed
News18 Wrap brings you some of the biggest stories on News18.com today to help you stay updated at all times.
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News18 Wrap brings you some of the biggest stories on News18.com today to help you stay updated at all times.

In case you missed it

Twelve Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) early on Tuesday morning and destroyed terror camps of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot. The air strike, which has been dubbed surgical strikes 2.0, comes two weeks after a terror attack on CRPF soldiers in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir. Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed the air strike and said a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers and senior commanders were eliminated at the largest terror training camp in Balakot. The camp was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother-in-law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar. The government said the camp was located on a hilltop, deep in a forest, and far away from any civilian presence. This is the first time after the 1971 war that Indian fighter aircraft have violated Pakistani airspace. Indian aircraft did not cross the LoC even during the 1999 Kargil war. Read more on why it is important.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a poll rally in Rajasthan, said, “Today I assure the countrymen, India is in safe hands.” He also repeated the BJP’s campaign slogan of 2014 with the message that he won’t let anyone hurt or stop the nation. This was his first public appearance since today's strike. Read more.

Pakistan has once again refuted claims that Indian Air Force jets struck terror camps in Balakot on Tuesday morning, claiming that the warplanes were forced to retreat once they crossed LoC. DG ISPR, the media wing of Pakistan’s military, Major General Asif Ghafoor, also warned India of an escalated response. “It is your turn now. Get ready to be surprised,” he said. In a veiled threat, he said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has called a meeting of National Command Authority, which overseas the nation’s nuclear weapons programme. He added “please understand what NCA means". Read more.

Meanwhile, former Indian Army Vice Chief Lt Gen A S Lamba also warned against eminent retaliation from Pakistan. Read more.

The terror camp of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot, which got “destroyed” by the IAF air strike, was being run by Masood Azhar's brother-in-law Maulana Yusuf Azhar, the Ministry of External Affairs said. Read more.

Who is Yusuf Azhar? Find out all you need to know about the terrorist who led the hijacking of Indian Airline flight IC-814 in 1999 which was routed to Kandahar in Afghanistan where JeM chief Masood Azhar was freed along with two other JeM members in exchange of the passengers aboard the Kathmandu to New Delhi bound flight. Read more.

Residents in the quake-prone Balakot town in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on Tuesday said they were woken by "loud explosions" and thought a fresh tremor must have hit the region when Indian Air Force jets pounded a large terror training camp. Read more.

Vinod Patney, Former Air Marshal, Indian Air Force, explained how IAF strike was a risky operation, but a necessary one as well. “We had crossed the PoK border in 1965, 1971 and every time there was a war, except during Kargil. However, this is for the first time that we have done so during peace time, to the best of my knowledge,” Patney said. Read the exclusive interview only on News18.com.

As #surgicalstrike2 trended on social media, many marketers in India saw an opportunity. As the country hailed the IAF action in Pakistani airspace, several restaurants and service providers took the opportunity to give discounts on products and drive sales with the hashtag #sorryNotSorry. Read more.

Read all coverage and news stories related to the IAF air strike on terror cell in Balakot with News18.com's LIVE blog.

Agree or disagree?

India has to convince the international community that the Indian Air Force (IAF) foray into Pakistani territory in the pre-dawn hours of February 26 to drop bombs on a reported training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is not an act of political symbolism but a strategic act that came at the end of years of extreme provocation in the form of sponsored terrorism on Indian territory that spawned the Pulwama attack less than a fortnight ago. Read VVP Sharma's take on the IAF attack on JeM terror cell in Balakot which are being dubbed as 'surgical strikes 2.0'.

Art of the Day

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear in open court the petitions seeking review of its December verdict that had dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets. Read more.

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