INDIA has launched air strikes against Pakistani militants and deployed 10,000 extra troops to the disputed region of Kashmir following a suicide bomb attack.
Pakistan said that it has scrambled fighter jets in the response ramping up fears of a war between the two nuclear-powered neighbours.
EPA Kashmiris prepare emergency bunkers in response to the air strikes
Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed several extremists were killed in the strikes in the town of Balakot.
This is the first air strike fired across the border dividing India-controlled Kashmir from Pakistan-controlled Kashmir since the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971.
Mr Gokhale said India had targeted the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) which claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on an Indian security convoy in Pulwama earlier this month which left 40 soldiers dead.
He said: “A large number of JeM terrorists were killed. The strike avoided civil casualties.
“Credible intel [intelligence] was received that JeM was planning more suicide attacks in India.
“In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary.”
He added that senior members of the group had been killed in the strikes.
Indian has also deployed 10,000 extra troops to the region while arresting 250 Muslim separatists following the terror attack.Delhi has blamed Pakistan for the February 14 bomb assault in which a car packed with explosives rammed into a military convoy.
While Jamaat-e-Islami has ties to Islamabad, Pakistan has denied involvement in the attack and had vowed to retaliate if India launched air strikes.Indian authorities also raided leaders of the militant group over the weekend and arrested members of the Hurriyat Conference groups who are also opposed to Indian control in Kashmir.
Reuters Indians in Ahmedabad celebrate the airstrikes against Pakistani militants
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