December 2017 News

Army Crosses Poonch LoC, Kills 4 Pak Troopers

26 December 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Amir Karim Tantray & Shyam Sood

Jammu: Two days after four Indian soldiers were killed in the Keri sector of Rajouri district, the Army on Monday avenged the killing by neutralising four Pakistani soldiers and injuring one opposite Poonch sector. The Army also decimated a Pakistani post along the Line of Control (LoC). Sources in the Army told The Tribune that in retaliatory action, reportedly in a surgical strike, a small group of Army's Special Forces commandos gunned down four Pakistani soldiers, including a Major, in Rawlakot sector, opposite Gulpur sub-sector of Poonch district. Commandos entered 200-300 metres inside the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) territory and destroyed a forward post of the Pakistan army on Monday afternoon, said sources. The slain Pakistani soldiers have been identified as sepoy Sajjad, sepoy Abdul Rehman and sepoy M Usman, while sepoy Ahtzaz Hussain was injured. The identity of the officer killed was not disclosed yet, said sources. The strike was carried out by Special Forces commandos in response to the killing of four soldiers, including a Major, of a Sikh unit in the Baratgala area of Keri sector on Saturday. Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed the killing of their three soldiers, but said they died in cross-border shelling i.e. in ceasefire violation. Pakistani media also reported the killings in 'unprovoked ceasefire violation'. 'India had initiated the 'unprovoked ceasefire violation' that led to an exchange of fire between the two countries' border forces,' Dawn reported, quoting ISPR. A senior Army officer said the action wasn't enough. 'We have to avenge the death of each and every soldier killed on the LoC,' the officer said. On Sunday, in the first retaliatory action after the killing of four soldiers, the Army had gunned down two Pakistani snipers. This is the second strike by the Army inside PoK since September 2016, when Ghatak commandos had conducted a surgical strike following a deadly terror attack on an Army camp in Uri. Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, Lance Naik Kuldip Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh - all of 2 Sikh Regiment - were killed in an apparent Pakistan army's Border Action Team (BAT) attack on December 23. The Indian Army, however, maintained they were killed in ceasefire violation. In Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday summoned India's acting Deputy High Commissioner to protest 'unprovoked' firing by the Indian Army. Its Foreign Office rejected reports that the Indian Army commandos had crossed the LoC along Poonch sector and smashed a post.