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What actually happened in Balakot? Reuters has a different story to tell

PW Bureau

While there were no high-resolution satellite pictures publicly available till now, images from Planet Labs Inc offer a clearer view of the structures India said it targeted New Delhi: It’s been a little over a week since India said it dropped bombs in a militant training camp inside Pakistan, killing a large number of terrorists, with competing claims from Pakistan saying that there had been no casualties. In an attempt to settle the matter, high-resolution satellite pictures accessed by Reuters showed no visible signs that a religious school operated by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in northeastern Pakistan was attacked. San Francisco-based private satellite operator, Planet Labs Inc, produced the images that displayed at least six buildings on the madrasa site still standing earlier this week. While there were no high-resolution satellite pictures publicly available till now, images from the private satellite operator offer a clearer view the structures India said it targeted.

No change in the targeted facility from April 2018 image

Compared to a satellite picture of the facility taken in April last year, the images displayed by Planet Labs on Monday seem to remain virtually unchanged. The roofs of the buildings showed no visible holes, nor were there signs of blown-out walls, scorching, displaced trees and other signs of an aerial attack around the area.

Doubts over government’s claims

The satellite pictures raise further doubts on the Indian government statements claiming that around 300 militants had been killed in the strikes with the Indian Air Force (IAF) venturing about 80 km inside Pakistan. India’s defence and foreign ministries have not made any statements regarding the satellite images produced by the US company.