October 2001 News

India fires across LoC, Bush calls for restraint

15 October 2001
The Statesman

New Delhi: Eleven infiltrators were killed and several Pakistani posts that provided them logistical support were destroyed by the Army across the the LoC in Mendhar and Akhnoor sectors of Kashmir today, the defence ministry confirmed. “The Army launched a successful operation against the repeated involvement of Pakistani troops in abetting activities across the LoC and the international border,” a senior Army officer said. Officers in Jammu said heavy firing had been reported over the last few days in response to Pakistan providing troop cover to terrorists in these sectors. Unconfirmed reports said the operation was named “Operation Kamiyab”. The Army reportedly shelled a number of batallion-support weapons in the Pakistani posts across the LoC wreaking widespread damage. Similar heavy firing occurred in Akhnoor sector after Pakistani soldiers helped militants place four explosive devices which could blow up electricity poles and transformers in the area. During the firing , there was largescale destruction of Pakistani army bunkers and fortifications. Indian soldiers used mortar- and rocket-launchers for the operation. An operation on this scale by the Indian Army comes after a lull of almost six to seven months. The strikes come at a time when the US secretary of state, General Colin Powell, is in Islamabad amidst severe protests there against the US action in Afghanistan. Mr Powell arrives in India tomorrow. After the exchange of fire, Mr George W Bush, speaking from the White House, called on India and Pakistan to “stand down”. “It is very important that India and Pakistan stand down during our activities in Afghanistan, or for that matter, forever,” he told reporters. Protests: Anti-America protests virtually shut down Kashmir as sporadic demonstrations rocked the state today during the bandh called by various religious organisations in support of Osama bin Laden. Police fired water- cannon and tear gas shells in Srinagar, injuring a over a dozen persons and arresting 20.


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