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Balakot airstrike: Italian journalist confirms death of 170 Jaish men in Pakistan


NEW DELHI: An Italian journalist has confirmed India’s claim of inflicting a major casualty on the Jaish-e-Mohammed cadre in Balakot, Pakistan, in the Airstrike conducted on February 26.

Italian journalist Francesca Marino quoting her Pakistan-based sources wrote, “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. Two of these trainers were from Afghanistan.

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The Indian Air Force had bombed the JeM training facility in the wee hours of February 26 at 3.30 am post the suicide attack on the CRPF convoy on February 14, which had killed 40 troops in Pulwama, J&K.

Marino confirmed that there are more people still undergoing treatment under the Pakistan Army doctors and wrote, “Local sources say around 45 persons are still undergoing treatment in this camp, while around 20 have died during treatment due to serious injuries.” And, “those who have recovered are still in custody of the Army and have not been discharged.”

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She has reported that efforts since the beginning have been to cover up the information from leaking. Pakistan Army is controlling the area and has restricted the camp access even to the local police.  Marino pointed out that it was the Pakistan Army which cleared the area. “Post the strike, the Pakistan Army shifted the injured, cleared the area.” She added that vehicles dumped rubble in the Kunhar River during the first night after the strike.