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Pakistan Army cordoned off the spot attacked by IAF at Balakot and removed 35 dead bodies, claims Italian journalist
Amid raging debates in India on exactly how many terrorists were killed in the counter-terror operation carried out by the Indian Air Force on a terror training camp being run by the Jaish-e-Mohommed (JeM) at Balakot on February 26, an Italian journalist has made some startling revelations citing credible eyewitness accounts.

The IAF had sent in 12 of its Mirage 2000 fighter jets in the wee hours of February 26, to carry out a strike on the biggest training camp of JeM, barely days after the terror outfit had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on a CRPF convoy at Pulwama, which had left 40 jawans dead.

In an interview to television channel WION TV, Italian journalist Francesca Marino said that her sources had confirmed that the death toll in the IAF strike was between 40 and 50, apart from 35 to 40 people getting injured in the attack.

Talking to the TV channel, Marino said, "I've got confirmations? 100% reliable confirmations."

While India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had claimed that a large number of terrorists had perished in the attack, Indian media reports have been claiming that over 300 people died in the air strike. However, Air Vice Marshall RGK Kapoor had said that it would be "premature" to give out the exact details on the number of casualties.

On the other hand Pakistan has out rightly rejected India's claim that the IAF had hit the target successfully saying that the IAF jets had only bombed an empty hillside damaging only a few trees with no human casualties.

However, Marino has said that the dead included 12 young trainees of the JeM, who were sleeping in the area when the attack occurred. She further said that a JeM trainer named Mufti Moeen and a bomb expert named Usman Ghani had also died in the IAF strike.

Marino had claimed in her report that had earlier appeared in an Indian newspaper that credible eyewitnesses had told her that the Pak Army had removed at least 35 dead bodies from the area, barely hours after the IAF strike.

She had said, "?the area had already been cordoned off by then by the army, who did not even allow police to enter. The army also took away mobile phones from the medical staff on the ambulances."

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