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Three PoK terror camps destroyed, says Army Chief

Officials inspect the site of Pakistani shelling along the International Border in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on October 20, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat said on Sunday that following definitive information of terrorists attempting infiltration from camps in Tangdhar and Keran sectors along the Line of Control (LoC), the Army took retaliatory action on four camps, destroying at least three.

Damage to a fourth terror camp is being assessed, he stated, adding that six to ten Pakistani soldiers and an equal number of terrorists were killed as per information “currently available”.

The Army also said Pakistan had resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation, targeting civilians, in which two soldiers and a civilian were killed.

Padam Bahadur Shrestha and Gamil Kumar Shrestha, the Indian Army personnel who lost their lives in Pakistani firing at Tangdhar sector along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on October 20, 2019. Photo: Twitter@NorthernComd_IA

Padam Bahadur Shrestha and Gamil Kumar Shrestha, the Indian Army personnel who lost their lives in Pakistani firing at Tangdhar sector along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on October 20, 2019. Photo: Twitter@NorthernComd_IA  

Gen. Rawat said there have been a series of infiltration attempts from Gurez, Tangdhar, Uri, and Macchil sectors and in areas south of Pir Panjal recently, and on Saturday evening, an attempt was made in Tangdhar. The Pakistan Army had carried out firing on Indian posts simultaneously.

Pre-emptive strike

“But before they could attempt the infiltration, it was decided that we target the terrorist camps across. We had definitive information. We had the coordinates of where these camps have emerged. In the retaliatory action, we have caused severe damage to terrorist infrastructure across,” the Army chief told the media on the sidelines of a sports event.

Defence sources said four launch pads were targeted by the Army. “It was a direct assault at the same time using heavy artillery.” At least six Pakistani soldiers were killed in the firing,” one source said, adding that each launch pad had over 15-20 terrorists waiting to infiltrate.

An Army spokesperson said they had hit terrorist launch pads and Pakistan Army positions with heavy artillery in retaliatory firing. “As a result, calibrated escalation of area weapons was undertaken by the Indian side in which terrorist launch pads, Pakistan Army posts giving incidental protection to these launch pads, and certain gun positions were hit,” he said.

Three PoK terror camps destroyed, says Army Chief

Unprovoked, says Pak.

Responding to the Army’s statement, Pakistan accused India of unprovoked ceasefire violation (CFV) targeting civilians. Pakistan’s Director General Inter-Services Public Relations said on Twitter that unprovoked Indian CFV in Jura, Shahkot and Nousehri Sectors had deliberately targeted civilians.

Stating that they effectively responded, the DG ISPR claimed, “Nine Indian soldiers killed, several injured. Two Indian bunkers destroyed. During exchange of fire one soldier and three civilians shaheed, two soldiers and five civilians injured.”

However, defence sources rejected claims of Indian Army fatalities while observing that if there was one casualty “we have to declare” as the system is so and there are procedures to follow. “We have no scope to hide causalities,” the source added.

Gen Rawat said, after the current action by the Indian Army, Pakistan could try and avenge it and cautioned against such action. “Any action they attempt, the reaction they will get from us will be far more superior from what they have experienced so far,” he said.

Damaged structures near the Line of Control on October 20, 2019.

Damaged structures near the Line of Control on October 20, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

 

He advised Pakistan to pay heed to the advice of Financial Action Task Force(FATF) and “not provide any support to terrorists” across and cause disruption and violence across the LoC.

An Indian Army spokesperson said they had hit terrorist launch pads and Pakistan Army positions with heavy artillery in retaliatory firing. “As a result, calibrated escalation of area weapons was undertaken by the Indian side in which terrorist launch pads, Pakistan Army posts giving incidental protection to these launch pads, and certain gun positions were hit,” he said.

A defence source said “it was a direct assault at the same time using heavy artillery” and each launch pad had over 15-20 terrorists waiting to infiltrate. One civilian was killed and three others from Ghundhishat village of Tangdhar district were injured.

The launch pads were located south of Zura in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and sources confirmed that the Indian Army had used 155mm heavy artillery guns. While small arms and heavy mortars are used during CFVs, heavy artillery has been intermittently used by both sides during escalations. During the day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Gen Bipin Rawat and was appraised of the developments and the situation along the LoC.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 6:16:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/indian-army-hits-terrorist-launch-pads-pakistan-posts-in-retaliatory-firing/article29749500.ece

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