Yusuf Azhar was also among the terrorists who hijacked the Indian Airlines flight IC 814 to Kandahar in 1999. Read on for more.
New Delhi: The air strike by Indian Air Force (IAF) has razed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror facility run by Yusuf Azhar, wanted terrorist and brother-in-law of Masood in Balakot area in Pakistan.
Yusuf Azhar alias Mohammad Salim alias Ustaad Ghori was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted in India.
Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot.
Yusuf Azhar was among the terrorists who hijacked the Indian Airlines flight IC 814 to Kandahar in 1999. The JeM chief Masood Azhar was then released by India in exchange for the hijacked passengers.
In 2000, the Interpol, on the basis of a request by the Central of Investigation (CBI), issued a red corner notice against the hijacker. The notice said that his place of birth was in Karachi, Pakistan, and he was fluent in "Urdu and Hindi."
In 2002, the government of India handed over a list of 20 fugitives to Islamabad which also had Yusuf Azhar's name.
Tuesday, February 26 IAF strike in Pakistan
In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action (suicide bombing) were eliminated. This facility in Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Sources claims that the Pulwama attack on CRPF jawans was planned here. Mastermind Ghazi was trained here.
In December 2017, Abdullah, son of Masood Azhar, underwent advance training in this camp. Later, he was put through a 10-day refresher training too.
The complex had 5-6 barracks with close to 300 terror recruits present at any point of time. More terror infrastructure is coming up in the area. This is Balakot in the Mansehra district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, and not in PoK near LoC.
The foreign secretary said, "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 purpose."
The facility in Balakot is located in a thick forest on a hilltop far away from civilian presence.
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Last Updated Feb 26, 2019, 3:47 PM IST