- Home Minister says there have been three cross-border strikes by India
- Says two strikes followed Uri, Pulwama attacks by Pakistani terrorists
- "The third one I will not disclose," he said at the rally
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said apart from the surgical strike after the Uri terror attack and the air strikes in Pakistan's Balakot after Pulwama, there was a "third strike" but stopped short of giving details.
"In the last five years, three time we have crossed the border and conducted successful strikes. I will provide information on two, but not the third. Once in Uri, our soldiers were killed by terrorists coming from Pakistan, then our soldiers had responded. Next was after Pulwama. The third one I will not disclose," Rajnath Singh said at a rally in Mangaluru, a video of which has been shared by news agency ANI.
"India is not weak anymore", he added as the crowd broke out into loud applause.
India had sent fighter jets to Balakot in Pakistan on February 26 - the first time the Indian Air Force (IAF) crossed the border since 1971 - to target the biggest terror training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group responsible for the February 14 terror attack in Kashmir's Pulwama in which over 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber. Pakistan retaliated the next day by sending a pack of fighter jets across the Line of Control to target military installations in India. The move resulted in an aerial dogfight between jets of the two countries for the first time in nearly 50 years, raising tensions between the two countries. An Indian Air Force pilot shot down in the aerial fight landed across the Line of Control and was capture by Pakistan. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's release helped de-escalate tensions between the two countries.
In September 2016, Indian troops had crossed the Line of Control to take out terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, weeks after Pakistani terrorists attacked an army base in Uri in Kashmir, killing 19 soldiers. The Army had said the operation succeeded in inflicting "significant casualties" on terrorists waiting there to cross into Indian territory.
Before the Balakot air strike and surgical strikes, in 2015, Indian troops had crossed the border with Myanmar and destroyed camps set up by National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) terrorists, a week after they had killed 18 Indian soldiers in Manipur's Chandel district. The details of the operation were largely kept classified.