NEW DELHI: A video of the surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in September 2016 was released on Wednesday night, showing the identification and surveillance of four targets by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the gun assault on military installations, barrack like structures and in some scenes what appear to be armed personnel.

The release of the 8-minute long video comes almost two years after the strikes were conducted, resulting in about 70 to 80 Pakistani fatalities. The video shows the location of each of the four targets on a map of PoK, their identification and surveillance by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and thermal imaging cameras.

It also shows images of the target area, including those of men who appear to be wearing uniforms, besides those dressed in civilian clothing. The images also distinguish the area before it is targeted and after the assault. The scene on the fourth target is of a thermal imaging footage of five people walking, marked and shots fired at them. The video also shows the explosion of targeted installations during the onslaught.

Lt Gen DS Hooda (retd), who was the Northern Army Commander during the surgical strikes, confirmed to ET that the video is authentic. “It is the same one I saw after the strikes,” he said.

“The whole operation was video-graphed from the start to finish. The entire footage is much longer. This is the edited version,” he said.

When asked whether there were only four targets as depicted in the video, the former Army Commander admitted that there were five.

Sources, however, said there were about eight targets.

Not going into specifics, Lt Gen Hooda explained that these areas were opposite to the Jammu region and Kashmir as well. Sources added that the target locations were in Leepa Valley and Kel in north of Pir Panjal ranges and Battal in south of Pir Panjal. “The targets were located in areas where we could do a lot of harm,” said sources.

Lt Gen Hooda explained that about 70 to 80 Pakistanis were killed in the strikes. “No one waited to count, but after the attack we had estimated these number of kills,” he said.

The army’s Special Forces teams armed with Cal Gustaf rocket launchers, M-4 carbines and under barrel grenade launchers had carried out the strike on terrorist camps in PoK on September 28 and 29, 2016. Before this, there was regular surveillance of the targets by UAVs, satellite imagery and human intelligence. The strikes were conducted 10 days after four Pakistani terrorists attacked an army unit’s administrative base in Uri, killing 18 soldiers.

The release of the video, however, led to a war of words between the ruling BJP and the Congress party. The BJP asserts that the video puts to rest all doubts raised over the surgical strikes, while the Congress claims the government is using the armed forces for political gains.