There was a fresh infiltration attempt from across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector early on Sunday, even as the Army has been on tenterhooks for the last couple of weeks with Pakistan's "renewed strategy" to push more militants into the country

There was a fresh infiltration attempt from across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector early on Sunday, even as the Army has been on tenterhooks for the last couple of weeks with Pakistan's “renewed strategy” to push more militants into the country.

The Army was caught unawares in the Krishna Ghati area when, according to defence sources, four militants tried to sneak in across the border.

“Our troops noticed the movement of four militants on the LoC and challenged them. This resulted in an exchange of fire and a militant was killed and another injured,” a senior Army officer told The Hindu. He said the body was taken away by his associates under cover of darkness. “But we are sure he was dead and one injured. Two others managed to escape.”

He said the firing started around 1 a.m. “We are on high alert and won't let them succeed in their attempts.”

This is the fifth such incident on the LoC or the international border (IB) in the Jammu region in the past 10 days. Two major attempts took place in the Chakan-da-Bagh and Keri areas.

Army sources said a group of militants did manage to cross over. There are, according to these sources, around 450 militants waiting across the LoC in the Jammu zone. “These figures are based on inputs from different sources and are rough estimates, but there is no doubt that Pakistan wants to push more and more militants to disturb the peace.”

A number of militants have been killed in the region by security forces in the recent past. Inspector-General Jammu zone Dilbagh Singh recently told journalists that the Lashkar-e-Taiba was wiped out from the region after its top-ranking commander was killed. It is now the Hizbul Mujahideen, which is mostly active in the State, and police sources estimate the number of militants at not more than 100.

Even as Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sweets on their Independence Days on August 14 and 15, the Pakistani troops opened fire in Ramghargh sector on August 15.

A senior officer of the Border Security Force (BSF) told The Hindu that “there were inputs of the movement of militants across the IB but were not corroborated.” He maintained that the BSF was on high alert and “in a position to thwart any such attempt.”