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Saturday, February 29, 2020

‘Ex-officers of Pakistan Army trained terrorists at Balakot camp’

It was an important training centre for the JeM and other terror organisations and it had several structures to accommodate trainees and facilities to train them.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Updated: February 27, 2019 7:23:31 am
Pakistani reporters and troops visit the site of the Indian airstrike in Jabha, near Balakot, Pakistan, on Tuesday. (AP) Pakistani reporters and troops visit the site of the Indian airstrike in Jabha, near Balakot, Pakistan, on Tuesday. (AP)

The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Balakot, destroyed by the Indian Air Force on Tuesday, was located on the banks of the Kunhar river in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and have also been used by the Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

The camp offered the possibility of aquatic training to terrorists and housed hundreds of operatives, sources said. It was an important training centre for the JeM and other terror organisations and it had several structures to accommodate trainees and facilities to train them.

Watch | India confirms air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan

The camp, 20 km from Balakot town, was used for “battle inoculation” and its trainers were former officers of Pakistan Army. Several “inspirational lectures” were delivered by JeM founder Masood Azhar and other terror ideologues on several occasions there, sources said.

Also Read | Mirage, Awacs, Sukhoi, Popeye: How IAF took down Jaish training camp

Azhar’s relatives and cadres were given training at Balakot in advanced weaponry and tactics, and before the inception of JeM, the camp was also used by Hizbul Mujahideen, the sources said.

Celebrations in Ahmedabad after Tuesday’s airstrike. (Javed Raja)

At the Balakot camp, the terrorists were imparted the advanced ‘Daura-e-Khaas’ training in weapons, explosives and field tactics, attack on convoys of security forces, planting and making of IEDs, suicide bombing, rigging vehicles for suicide attacks and survival tactics in high altitude and extreme-stress situations, according to sources.

READ | India strikes terror, deep in Pakistan

The JeM specialises in suicide attacks and gives immense importance to religious indoctrination and ideological brainwashing, officials said.

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