Italy journalist says Indian Air Force killed 170 JeM terrorists in Balakot training centre

As many as 170 Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were neutralised in the airstrike carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Pakistan’s Balakot district, a foreign journalist has reported.

The pre-planned airstrike was executed by the Indian Air Force on February 26, days after the Pulwama terror attack. As per a report by Italian journalist Francesca Marino, the airstrike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot led to the death of 130-170 JeM terrorists.

In an interview with India Today TV, the journalist accused Pakistan of lying as the nation maintained that IAF airstrike did not lead to any damage or casualties.

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

She further wrote that a Pakistani army unit from Shinkiari base camp reached the location of the strike on February 26 around 6 am, just two-and-a-half hours after the Indian Air Force successfully bombed the terror camp.

Quoting the reliable sources, Marino wrote that Pakistani Army unit reached the spot and then transported the injured to the Harkar-ul-Mujahideen camp in Shinkiari, where Pakistan Army doctors offered medication.

Marino wrote that her sources suggested that around 45 individuals injured in the strike are still undergoing treatment at the military camp while 20 have succumbed during the time of treatment.

And, the terrorists who have recovered are in custody of the Pakistan Army, according to her report.

The journalist said that the inputs are based on information collected over the last few weeks through trusted sources in the region.

“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,” she wrote in her report.

Marino also suggested that a group of JeM members also visited the families of those eliminated in the attack and offered cash compensation to them in order to prevent leakage of information.

She also stressed that the hilltop training camp is under the control of the Pakistan army even now, with a captain rank officer of the Mujahid battalion in command.

Even local cops are not allowed to access the road as that would lead to the training camp, she said in her report.