The Indian Air Force (IAF) crossed into Pakistan on Monday night and struck terror camps in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, significantly escalating the tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Pakistan said the warplanes intruded into the country from the Muzafarabad sector, across the across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the two countries in Kashmir. Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations Major-General Asif Ghafoor said the "Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled" and the Indian aircraft went back.
India has not officially commented on the reports but news agency ANI reported quoting IAF sources that Mirage 2000 planes of the IAF struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it. The attack took place around 3.30 am India time.
Other reports said 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation and dropped 1,000 kg bombs on camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group in Balakot. The strike comes after reports of ceasefire violation by Pakistan at the LoC in the last few days.
Other reports said launch pads of the JeM at Balakot, Chakoti and Muzaffarabad were destroyed. India has deployed 140 warplanes near the border and ready to strike at short notice. Drones were also reportedly used in the attack.
Local media reports claimed nearly 200 terrorists were hit in the air strike. All the border forces were put on high alert post the attack.
In a tweet the Pakistan military spokesman said the Indian aircraft were met with a "timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force" and that it ended up releasing "payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot." He also tweeted out photos of craters allegedly from the bombs.
The town is about 160 kilometers from Pakistan capital Islamabad. No damage or causalities were reported.
Tensions have risen between the two nuclear-armed countries after a terrorist drove a car laden with explosives into an Indian paramilitary convoy in Kashmir, killing scores of soldiers. India has accused Pakistan of providing support and sanctuary to the terrorists operating in Kashmir. The JeM group had taken responsibility for the attack.