Pakistan on Tuesday admitted that fighter gets of Indian Air Forces (IAF) crossed Line of Control (LoC) from Muzafarabad sector in the wee hours. However, it tried to downplay the development saying IAF jets ‘released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot’ but there were ‘no casualties or damage’.
"Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage," Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted.
The IAF is yet to respond to these claims. According to reports, Indian authorities are likely to make an official statement in this regard at around 10:15 am.
"Indian Air Force violated Line of Control Pakistan. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircraft gone back," Ghafoor said in another tweet.
The development comes amid heightened tension between the two nuclear-armed nations since February 14 suicide attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group that killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.
Meanwhile, reports are coming that Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad terror launch pads across the LOC were completely destroyed in IAF air strikes. "Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad terror launch pads across the LOC completely were destroyed in IAF air strikes. JeM control rooms also destroyed," tweeted ANI.
More than 10 bombs were reportedly dropped by the multi-role fighter jet Mirage 2000 at around 3:30 am on Tuesday morning. The aerial attack comes days after Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a high-level meeting with all three service chiefs.
Defence experts say that Mirages would have used 500 kg laser-guided bombs. The Mirage 2000s may have used Israeli lightening laser designator pods to drop their precision bombs. Though Pakistan has tweeted the photos of large craters, the actual impact of the airstrike will be revealed by the satellite images.