India hits Pak targets after LOC bombing
At least eight Pakistani soldiers were killed and 12 wounded on Friday after the Indian army attacked Pakistani positions across the Line of Control (LoC) in northern Kashmir with artillery cannons and anti-tank guided missiles in response to heavy bombardment. from the neighboring army in which eight Indians, four security personnel and four civilians lost their lives, people familiar with the events said.
Pakistan’s ammunition dumps, fuel dumps and terror launch pads were among the targets destroyed by the Indian military, they added.
The intense exchange of gunfire, sparked by violations of the ceasefire by the Pakistani military in multiple sectors on the eve of Diwali, has put the spotlight on the LoC at a time when Indian and Chinese forces are locked in a border dispute. along the controversial Line of Reality. Control (LAC) in the sensitive Ladakh sector, where a disengagement plan is being discussed but has not made significant progress so far.
Three Indian soldiers, a deputy inspector from the Border Security Force (BSF) and four civilians, including a woman and a seven-year-old child, were killed in Pakistani shelling in the Uri, Naugam, Keran and Gurez sectors of northern Kashmir, officials said, asking not to be identified. Three Indian soldiers were injured.
Pakistani casualties include at least two commandos from the Special Services Group, they said.
The Indian military blamed Pakistan for unprovoked ceasefire violations throughout the LoC. “Pakistan initiated an unprovoked violation of the ceasefire across the LoC spread across multiple sectors, including Dawar, Keran, Uri and Naugam. Pakistan used mortars and other weapons, ”said Srinagar-based defense spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia. He added that the neighboring army deliberately targeted civilian areas.
“Our troops retaliated vigorously, causing substantial casualties and damage to the infrastructure of the Pakistani Army throughout the LoC. Several ammunition depots, fuel depots and multiple terrorist launch pads have been damaged, ”Kalia said.
The Pakistani army began bombing Indian positions after the Indian army thwarted a major infiltration attempt in the Keran sector, officials said. There has been a significant increase in violations of the ceasefire by Pakistan this year.
While the neighbor violated the ceasefire 3,233 times last year, this year’s figure is 4,052 so far this year, according to military data. Pakistan committed 394 rapes in October, up from 128 so far in November.
The Indian military released several images, including images from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), showing multiple Pakistani bunkers and other positions on fire in the Indian retaliatory action. One of the videos released by the army showed a Pakistani soldier running for cover before his post was hit by an anti-tank guided missile.
“Pakistani casualties may be greater. What we have now is an initial estimate, ”officials said.
The Pakistanis have recovered it “correctly,” said Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia (retired), former director general of military operations, commenting on the retaliatory action by the Indian army. “Pakistan seeks to create problems throughout the LdC as it is aware of our focus on LAC and the commitment there. The Pakistani military is making desperate attempts to push out the infiltrators before the harsh winters begin. Violations of the ceasefire are carried out to help infiltrators. Also, the valley has been quiet and the neighbor wants to up the ante there to unleash violence and bloodshed, “added Bhatia.
In the Naugam sector, a BSF officer stationed at the Atma Complex was killed in the bombing. He was identified as Deputy Inspector Rakesh Dobal. Abdul Qayoom, SSP from Baramulla, said that some areas of Uri were still being shelled. “Four civilians were killed in Uri and another four were injured,” he said.
The violation of the ceasefire was reported from all major sectors stretching from Uri to Gurez. All of these sectors have witnessed multiple ceasefire violations this year and soldiers have been on high alert.
Locals in Uri said that Indian and Pakistani soldiers were attacking each other’s pickets in the Haji Peer and Kamalkote sectors since morning. Locals said that small arms and mortars were used during the shelling causing panic among villagers near the LoC.
“This was one of the deadliest bombings in many years in the Uri sector. Some shells hit residential houses, ”said Iqbal Ahmad, a resident of Uri. “People are very scared because we could see projectiles falling in the villages,” said another civilian, Mukthair Ahmad Khawaja.
The situation in the town of Uri was tense even as ambulances rushed to the villages near the LoC to transport injured civilians to hospitals.
In the Keran and Gurez sectors, mortar shells landed near the residential areas of the towns of Izmerg, Baktore and Tarabal, which are located a few kilometers from the LoC. Two girls were injured in Baktore and both were referred to Srinagar for treatment.
“We were attending an electoral meeting when the bombings started around 11 am. The intensity of the bombardments was strong and people ran for cover. The markets were closed and many people took refuge in underground bunkers. Now the shelling has stopped, but people are still in underground bunkers, “said Zaheer Ahmad, a government official stationed in Gurez.
The infiltration attempt in the Keran sector on Friday was the second infiltration offer this week, Kalia said. “Three terrorists were killed in the previous failed infiltration attempt in the Machil sector on November 7 and 8,” he added. Three soldiers, including a captain, were killed in action at Machil that day.
At a time when there are military tensions between India and China in eastern Ladakh, the military is also keeping a tight watch on the western front to deter Pakistan from fishing in troubled waters and avoid what could prove to be a two-front conflict. .