Balakot airstrike by IAF killed 170 terrorists: Italian journalist

The signboard near the Balakot camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed that Francesca Marino’s report talks of was reported by Sirf News two months ago

Balakot Francesca Marino
The foothills of Balakot Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp; Sirf News had reported about this signboard on 8 March 2019. Inset: Italian journalist Francesca Marino

New Delhi: An Italian journalist has claimed that 170 terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed were killed due to the airstrike of IAF on Balakot, Pakistan, on 26 February. According to the journalist, despite its attempts, the Pakistan government and its Army could not hide the truth about the loss.

In a report published on a news site Stringer Asia, Italian journalist Francesca Marino said that 45 terrorists injured in the attack are still being treated.

Pakistan’s failed attempt to hide truth of Balakot

According to Marino’s report, Pakistan tried very hard to hide the impact of the IAF airstrike. In spite of this, Marino’s sources told her what had transpired in the terror camp of Jaish in the dawn of 26 February.

The information of the airstrike is appearing in bits and pieces, but it is coming out for sure, helping observers join the dots.

Pakistan Army arrived at Balakot camp at 6 AM

Marino wrote, “Despite Pakistan’s efforts to deceive the world on the Indian airstrikes on the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp, small details of what happened in Balakot in the wee hours of 26 February and thereafter have kept trickling in from my source.”

The journalist said that the Pakistan Army now knows that the IAF had attacked at 3:30 PM. Their soldiers arrived from one of the closest posts of the Pakistan Army at the terror-training camp at 6 o’clock in the morning, Marino wrote.

Shinkari is 20 km from Balakot. Shinkari is also a base camp of the Pakistan Army for junior officers. After the unit reached there, the injured were taken to the camp of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Marino wrote.

The Pakistan Army doctors started the treatment of the injured terrorists there. Local sources said that 45 terrorists are still undergoing treatment there; 20 of them died during the treatment, the journalist wrote.

Injured terrorists in Army custody

The Italian journalist further wrote that the terrorists who are undergoing treatment are all in the custody of the Army. After waiting for several weeks, gathering information, it would be absolutely safe to claim that, at the time of the attack, about 130 to 170 Jaish terrorists were present in the Balakot camp, Marino said. They also had 11 trainers out of whom two were Afghans.

Cash compensation to families of killed terrorists

And this is the clincher. Marino wrote that, after the attack, other terrorists of Jaish for the houses of those killed in the IAF attack. Their families were given cash in compensation. Blue Pine Hotel on the foot of the Balakot hills now carries a new signboard that reads “Taalim al Qur’an”. Earlier, a signboard of the Jaish was clamped here.

Sirf News had reported about this board way back on 8 March.

The Pakistan Army still occupies the camp. An officer of the captain rank is handling the administration here.

Police not allowed

According to the report, local people and the local police cannot even approach the camp. There are a few children inside now and four teachers out of the old ones.

The locals here wonder why, after the attack, the debris was removed from the camp and thrown into River Kunhar. Jaish terrorists say they will definitely avenge the IAF airstrike, says the report by the Italian journalist.

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