Indian Army foils attack by Pak's BAT along LoC, kills at least five

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Five to seven terrorists or Special Services Group (SSG) commandos from the Pakistan Army were killed, the Army said
  • It said Pakistan was “desperately trying to push terrorists from Jaish-e-Mohammad and other tanzims” across the LoC for the last 36-48 hours

NEW DELHI: In escalating tensions along the Line of Control, which has witnessed over 1,600 ceasefire violations already this year, the Indian Army on Saturday said it had “successfully foiled” a BAT (border action team) operation by the Pakistan Army in the Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Five to seven terrorists or Special Services Group (SSG) commandos from the Pakistan Army were killed in the unsuccessful BAT operation that began on the night of July 31. Four bodies have been seen lying on our side of the LoC, in close proximity to our posts, but there is continuing cross-border firing in the sector,” said a senior Army officer.

The Army said Pakistan was “desperately trying to push terrorists from Jaish-e-Mohammad and other tanzims” across the LoC for the last 36-48 hours. “Intelligence reports assess there are 200-250 terrorists present on the launch pads along the LoC ready to infiltrate into J&K by taking advantage of the prevailing fog conditions as well as covering fire by the Pak Army,” said the officer.

“Four terrorists have been killed in the hinterland in the last few days, while there have been a number of attempts by Pakistan to disturb peace in the Valley and target the Amarnath Yatra, as has been seen by the seizure of the cache of sniper rifle, IED and mine with Pakistan Ordnance Factory markings,” said the officer.

The Army said this was the reason that there was a build-up in the paramilitary forces in the state over the last one week, while it also categorically rejected Pakistan’s claims of India using cluster bombs in retaliatory cross-border firings.

“The Pak Army regularly attempts to push terrorists through infiltrations and opens up with multitude of weapons to assist them. During numerous DGMO (Directorate General of Military Operations) level hotline talks, India has maintained the right to respond. Such responses are only against military targets and infiltrating terrorists who are aided by Pak Army. Allegations of firing of cluster bombs by India are yet another instance of Pakistani lies, deceit and deception tactics,” said the officer.

As reported by TOI earlier this week, the two armies have once again begun to use artillery guns and heavy mortars in their firing duels along the LoC. The use of heavy-caliber weapons along the 778-km long LoC had shown a discernible dip in recent weeks after a major spurt immediately after IAF fighter jets conducted the pre-dawn air strikes on the major Jaish-e-Mohammed facility at Balakot on February 26, which was followed by an aerial skirmish between rival fighters a day later.

“The number of CFVs had dipped to 181 in June as compared to 267 in March and 234 in April. But the tally in July crossed 280. The situation is back to a rise in CFVs and infiltration after Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s trip to the US. We are prepared to retaliate as and when required,” said another officer.

TNN