Published On : Tue, Feb 26th, 2019

Yusuf Azhar bombed in Balakot air strike was Kandahar hijacker

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Tuesday confirmed that India had “struck the biggest training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot”, in the early hours of Tuesday.

He said the strike took place on a hilltop in a forest location far from civilian areas and that the JeM camp was run by Yusuf Azhar, who is believed to be the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, the leader of JeM.

The Hindu reports that Yusuf Azhar alias Mohammad Salim was one of the men who hijacked the Indian Airline flight IC 814 to Kandahar in 1999. The JeM chief, Masood Azhar, was then released by India in exchange for the IC- 814 hijacked passengers.

In 2002, the government handed over a list of 20 fugitives to Islamabad which featured Yusuf Azhar’s name. In 2000, the Interpol on the basis of a request by the Central of Investigation opened a red corner notice against the hijacker.

The notice (see picture alongside) says that his place of birth was in Karachi, Pakistan, and he was fluent in “Urdu and Hindi.” He is wanted in India for “hijacking, murder and kidnapping.”