August 20, 2019 | 7:18 PM IST
balakot airstrike

Foreign scribe quotes 130-170 killed in Balakot airstrike; 45 recuperating in hospitals

The pre-emptive Balakot airstrike on February 26 killed between 130 to 170 Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists and 45 are still recovering in Pakistan’s hospitals claimed an investigative report of an Italian freelance journalist in contrast to the Indian media reports that claimed 200–350 militants lost their lives. This report has come when the casualty figure at Balakot have been under constant speculation.

A specialist in South Asian affairs, Francesca Marino wrote that after the IAF attack, around 3.30 am, a Pakistan Army unit arrived at their location from their camp in Shinkiari at around 6 am and moved the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen camp and was treated by Pakistan Army doctors. JeM members visited the families of these killed militants and offered them cash as compensation.

Those who recovered were still in Army’s custody. Furnishing further details she said that 11 trainers who were experts in bomb-making to well-versed in the use of dangerous weapons were among those killed. Two of the trainers were from Afghanistan. The camp area is still under the army’s Captain rank officer of the Mujahid battalion and access to the camp is still restricted even to the local people. 
Marino added that the JeM has assured its cadres that the revenge would be taken when the time was ripe.

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