The Indian Army launched artillery strikes on terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir on Sunday, killing at least 10 Pakistani soldiers as well as a similar or higher number of terrorists, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said.
The Army had used artillery guns to target the terrorist camps in which three of them were destroyed.
According to a report in NDTV, terror launch pads in Neelam valley, opposite the Tangdhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district were destroyed in the strikes.
“On the basis of reports that we have been getting, 6-10 Pakistani soldiers have been killed, 3 camps have been destroyed. A similar number of terrorists have also been killed… Confirmed reports tell that casualties to terrorists are more than the information we have,” General Bipin Rawat told reporters.
He further said that there is a kind of radio-silence on the other side. The Army is not even able to pick up any mobile communication from across the border.
The Army Chief said that during the intervening night of October 19-20, an attempt was made in the Tangdhar sector to infiltrate terrorists to which the Indian forces retaliated. Pakistan had carried out attack firing at Indian posts, but before they could attempt the infiltration, the Army targeted the terror camps across the border.
“Last evening an attempt was made in Tangdhar to infiltrate terrorists, we retaliated, Pak carried out attack firing at our post in which we did suffer, but before they could attempt the infiltration it was decided that we target the terror camps across the border. We had the coordinates of these camps,” Rawat said.
General Bipin Rawat added that in the retaliatory action, the Indian Army caused severe damage to the terrorists’ infrastructure.
Two Indian soldiers and a civilian were killed in the unprovoked ceasefire violation in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir on the intervening night of October 19-20.
The Army identified the soldiers as Hawaldar Padam Bahadur Shrestha and Rifleman Gamil Kumar Shrestha.
Civilian areas in Ghundhishat village in Tangdhar were hit by the Pakistan Army’s artillery firing on Saturday night. The deceased civilian has been identified as Mohammed Sadiq, 55. Three other civilians were injured, who were identified as Mohammed Maqbool, 70, Mohammed Shafi, 50, and Yusuf Hamid, 22.
The Army Chief said that the Indian force had received inputs on terrorists advancing towards the camps in the forward areas. “In the last one month, we have seen repeated attempts from different sectors to infiltrate terrorists,” he said.
Rawat said that while Jammu and Kashmir is returning to normalcy, some forces are working from within India and outside in Pakistan and PoK trying to disrupt peace in the Valley.
Earlier, according to sources quoted by IANS, at least 35 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants were killed in retaliatory artillery firing.
Following the ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had spoken to the Army Chief over the situation.
Speaking on the artillery strikes carried out by India, Union Minister VK Singh on Saturday told ANI: “I would say that our Army is always ready to take action when needed, so that what is being violated from the other side and the indirect war can be stopped.”
The developments in Jammu and Kashmir come a day before Rajnath Singh and Rawat are slated to visit Ladakh for opening a strategic bridge near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China along the newly-constructed all-weather motorable Leh-Karakoram road.
Till October 10 this year, Pakistan has violated ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir for 2,310 times. As per the Army, 147 terrorists have been killed till October 10 in various operations in the hinterland and the LoC.