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IAF pilots weren't supposed to land and count number of terrorists killed in Balakot: Rajnath Singh

File photo of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 06, 2019, 10.27 PM (IST)

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday lauded the Indian Air Force's air strike on the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot, Pakistan and slammed the opposition for raising questions over the operation. 

Singh asked if the IAF pilots who carried out the strikes were supposed to land and count the number of terrorists killed in the operation. 

"The way IAF hit the terror camps is absolutely remarkable. But there are a few people who are questioning it, I want to ask them, was it the duty of pilots to land and then count the numbers to know how many were killed after the operation — 1,2,3,4,5?" Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. 

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tuesday the Indian Air Force strike that destroyed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot area was "not a military action" as there was no civilian casualty.

She also said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had not given any casualty figure in his media briefing after the air strike and only gave a statement which is the government's "position".

Gokhale had said the non-military and preemptive strike on the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp killed a "very large number" of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders, news agency PTI reported.

Sitharaman's remarks came amid some Opposition leader demanding evidence about the number of terrorists killed in the air strike.

The IAF, which carried out the strike on February 26, said on Monday that government would provide details on the casualty figures as the Air Force only sees if a target has been hit or not, PTI reported. 

On Tuesday, the defence minister said, "There was no need to analyse more on Balakot strike" as she declined to link the air strike on terror camp with the coming Lok Sabha election.

(With inputs from PTI) 
 

Story highlights

The Indian Air Force had said on Monday that the government would provide casualty figures since the air force only sees whether a target has been hit or not.