Did IAF kill Masood Azhar's brother-in-law Yousuf Azhar in Balakot today?

April FrancisFeb 27, 2019

Shelling across the Kashmiri Line of Control has frequently occurred over the last few years, while tensions between the neighbours have been simmering, but airspace violations are rare.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced intense pressure to respond to the February 14 attack, which was claimed by Jaish-e-Muhammad, a Pakistan-based group designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.

Pakistan called the attack a "grave aggression" and promised a "timely and effective response" by its own military.

He was subsequently transported to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, on February 7, 2002 because of his knowledge of the Moaskar training camp in Balakot, Pakistan, and his affiliation with the Taliban as a foreign fighter, the US Defence Department memorandum says. "In this operation a very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and jihadis being trained were eliminated".

The military action comes a week after Pakistan militants killed 42 Indians in a suicide attack.

Although he did not refer to the overnight incursion by the Indian fighter jets, Mr Alvi did say India had created "hysteria" after the attack on Indian troops in Kashmir. Sources said that the casualties could at around 200 to 300.

"The Australian government urged India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, avoid any action which would endanger peace and security in the region and engage in dialogue to ensure that these issues are resolved peacefully", a statement from the Australian Ministry for Foreign Affairs read. Since 1989, such groups have waged an insurgency to end Indian rule in Kashmir. They fought a third war in 1979 over East Pakistan, which gained its independence with the help of India and became Bangladesh.

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The resumption of bilateral dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi is necessary to initiate a peaceful settlement of differences, it said.

The report said the jets dropped large bombs on a "major terrorist camp". India has demanded that Jaish-e-Mohammad's leader, Azhar Masood, be listed as a terrorist by the United Nations, but that has been stymied by China.

The same smart bombs have been used by the Israel Air Force in strikes against targets in Syria.

After the airstrike, Lt. Col. Devender Anand, an Indian army spokesman, said Pakistani soldiers attacked Indian positions along the boundary in Kashmir, the so-called Line of Control.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that "better sense" should prevail, warning India not to challenge Pakistan.

"Modi ji has finally done it", said Mr Sandeep Sharma, a driver in the Jammu region of India's border state of Jammu and Kashmir, using an honorific for Mr Modi.

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