Swift operation took days of planning

Swift operation took days of planning

Swift operation took days of planning
The surgical strike that lasted barely four hours was planned for days. In the intervening night of September 28-29, five crack Indian Army commando teams were dropped from helicopters near the Line of Control (LoC).

Their targets were 7 launch pads – transit camps for militants looking to appropriate time to sneak into India – sources in the defence ministry said. The camps were located at five places in Kel, Lipa, Hot Spring and Bhimber regions of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). All were within a distance of 1-3 km from the LoC.

The army did not disclose where it struck, but the Pakistan army complained of artillery firing in these regions. According to Inter-Services Public Relations, the Indian Army violated ceasefire in Bhimber, Lipa and Kel sectors, targeting Pakistani positions.

The firing was a cover for the Indian Army’s Special Forces teams – comprising soldiers from 4 Para and 9 Para – to move close to the targets. They had orders to kill terrorists and destroy everything in those camps.

The government did not release any casualty figures, but there are unconfirmed reports of 38-40 terrorists being killed in the surgical strike. “During these counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them,” Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, the director general of military operations, said on Thursday.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar congratulated the army for the successful operation. The troops were aided by video footage collected by UAVs and aerostats. The Udhampur-based Northern Command was coordinating with the ground forces and the operation was videographed.

Two soldiers were injured on the Indian side, and one of them was admitted to a hospital under the Northern Command. For years, the armed forces and intelligence agencies knew about 43 terror camps and how this infrastructure was being used to bleed India.

In 2009, then army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor told US National Security Advisor James Jones about 43 terrorist camps in Pakistan, 22 of which are located in PoK. Though Pakistan raided some camps post 26/11 attacks, Kapoor asserted that some camps restarted operations within months.