Pak permits journalist to visit site hit during IAF strike in Balakote

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Balakot, March 30: More than a month after Indian Air Force (IAF) destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terror camps inside Pakistan, the Pakistan Army has taken a group of journalists to the site, according to the reports. The journalists have interviewed more than 300 children at a local mosque and record videos. They were given access to some nearby sites. “They were taken at 10 am, and stayed there until 3.30 pm. The entire area was cordoned off by a platoon of frontier corps, the Pakistan paramilitary force,” a national daily quoted a source as saying

Balakot is some 80 km from the Line of Control near Abbotabad where Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in hiding by covert U.S. forces who had also sneaked into Pakistan to carry out the operation, catching the entire Pakistani military unawares.

 

The site of airstrikes is said to be spread over 6 acres and journalists were given access only to a limited area. The remaining area was kept off limits. It is also not clear whether the children at the site were local residents or brought by the Pakistan authorities for a photo opportunity, source told the news paper.

On February 26, the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s Mirage 2000 fighters armed with SPICE 2000 satellite-guided bombs had struck the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Balakot training camp in response to the gruesome terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district . On February 14, at least 42 CRPF personnel were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Kashmir’s Pulwama district when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 30 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district that also left many critically wounded.

More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora in south Kashmir.

Earlier, reports claimed that Pakistani security officials prevented journalists from visiting the site. India handed over the dossier to the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi on February 27 with specific details of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)’s complicity in the Pulwama attack.

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