We struck Pakistan 3 times in the last 5 years, but won’t give full details: India’s home minister

We struck Pakistan 3 times in the last 5 years, but won’t give full details: India’s home minister
India carried out three cross-border strikes in Pakistan in the last five years, the country’s Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh has said. One of these three strikes, however, remains shrouded in secrecy.

Singh admitted that Indian forces struck alleged terrorist “launch pads” in Pakistani Kashmir in 2016, after four militants killed 19 Indian soldiers near the town of Uri. India struck again last month, bombing suspected terrorist training camps in Pakistani territory, in retaliation for a suicide bombing attack that had claimed the lives of 40 Indian police officers.

“I want to tell you brothers and sisters that, in the last five years, we have gone beyond our borders thrice and our men have successfully conducted airstrikes,” Singh told a public rally in Mangalore on Saturday. “About two I will tell you, but won't tell you about the third one.”

The third strike may refer to an alleged 2017 Indian Army action that Indian journalist Shiv Aroor said had killed three Pakistani soldiers. The army did not confirm or deny the attack at the time.

In each of the acknowledged cases, Indian forces targeted the militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group. India has accused the Pakistani government of aiding and abetting terrorism, and has cautioned its nuclear-armed neighbor that supporting terrorism will not be tolerated.

“The country will not provoke anyone, but will not leave anyone if provoked,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has detained close relatives of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s leader, Masood Azhar. Prime Minister Imran Khan declared on Friday that Islamabad “will not allow Pakistan's land to be used for any kind of outside terrorism.”

The most recent strikes set off a tit-for-tat escalation that saw the much-publicized capture and prompt release of Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, as well as outbreaks of shooting and shelling along the heavily militarized border.

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