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"Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this goal", Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said at a briefing on Tuesday. Both countries claim Kashmir in its entirety and have gone to war twice over it.

India's opposition leaders, many of whom have banded together against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), congratulated the Indian Air Force (IAF), though they stopped short of praising Modi.

Pakistan's military spokesman, Maj.

Indian air force jets carried out air strikes on militant camps inside Pakistan on Tuesday, a government minister said, the first Indian comment on the raids.

He said "facing timely and effective response from the PAF, [Indian jets] released [their] payload in haste while escaping, which fell near Balakot".

Meanwhile, India claimed that "several terrorists" were killed in preemptive action on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp.

India's foreign ministry also said the camp was at Balakot, but gave no further details and the exact location of the camp remained unclear.

In a swift and precise air strike following the Pulwama attack, India bombed and destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) biggest training camp in Pakistan early Tuesday on February 26, 2019, eliminating a "very large number" of terrorists, trainers, and senior commanders.

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But as fears grew that the conflict could escalate, hospitals in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were ordered to set a quarter of beds aside for "a national cause", officials said.

Pakistan said Tuesday that India launched a limited airstrike in Pakistani territory, an apparent act of retaliation for a terrorist attack that killed 40 Indian soldiers this month.

In response, India launched what it called "surgical strikes" on Pakistani territory. Indian time on Tuesday, a time when the alertness of radar system operators is more likely to be lower, an air force veteran said.

Addressing a rally of former soldiers in the Indian state of Rajasthan hours after the airstrike, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India was in "safe hands".

"Pakistan reserves the right to self-defence and respond to such aggression", he said. India routinely accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants who cross the mountainous Himalayan region. They fought a third war in 1979 over East Pakistan, which gained its independence with the help of India and became Bangladesh.

After the meeting, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is expected to address the media.

Private Indian broadcaster CNN News 18 said: "Top government sources said that there were almost 200 casualties from the (Indian Air Force) strike".

Both India and Pakistan claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir, but control only parts of it.


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