Close on the heels of the border skirmishes in Uri sector in Kashmir valley, Pakistani troops have crossed the LoC and killed two soldiers of the Indian Army in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch, 200 Kms from Jammu, on Tuesday. Two more soldiers were injured.

Authoritative sources in Jammu told The Hindu two soldiers of 13-Raj Rifles were killed and two more injured when a contingent of the Pakistani regular Army opened fire on an area domination unit of Sector-10 between Chhatri and Atma outposts on the LoC in Mankote area of Krishna Ghati at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Even as nobody at the Rajouri-based 25th Division and Sector-10 headquarters in Mendhar area of Poonch district agreed to speak anything on record, highly placed official sources, claiming to quote field intelligence reports, confirmed the death of two soldiers in the ambush. According to these sources, men of the Pakistani regular contingent wore black combat uniform and the ambush had been laid 600 metres inside Indian territory.

Sources said that the Pakistani soldiers beheaded one of the two soldiers and decamped with weapons of both the jawans. Later, the dead bodies were recovered and the injured soldiers airlifted and admitted to the Army’s Command Hospital.

The Northern Command headquarters at Udhampur later came out with a statement terming the Pakistani Border Action Team offensive a “significant escalation” to the continuing series of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts supported by Pakistan Army. “Pak army troops, having taken advantage of thick fog & mist in the forested area, were moving towards our posts when an alert area domination patrol spotted and engaged the intruders. The firefight between Pak and own troops continued for approximately half an hour after which the intruders retreated back towards their side of Line of Control. Two soldiers Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh laid down their lives while fighting the Pak troops” it added.

With intermittent violations, ceasefire has been holding since 26 November 2003. In June-July 2012, two jawans had died in an exchange of gunfire in Krishna Ghati sector. The Pakistani offensive came two days after Islamabad complained about the death of a soldier in the Indian troops’ firing in Haji Peer area of the Poonch-Uri belt. India said the jawans undertook “controlled retaliation” in response to unprovoked Pakistani firing.

PTI reports that the Pakistani military denied the “Indian allegation of unprovoked firing”, and quoted a senior official as saying: “It looks like Indian propaganda to divert attention from Sunday’s raid by India in which a Pakistani soldier was killed.”