Army crosses LoC again, kills three Pak soldiers

Army crosses LoC again, kills three Pak soldiers

The army's Ghatak commandos on Monday crossed the Line of Control in an area near Poonch in Jammu & Kashmir to strike at a temporary camp of the Pakistani army, killing three soldiers and injuring one.

The Indian commandos went nearly 300 metres inside Pakistan territory to avenge the killing of four Indian Army soldiers from the 2nd Sikh regiment, including Maj Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, in cross-border firing in Rajouri sector.

The Pakistani soldiers killed in the retaliatory cross-border raid in the Rakh Chakri sub-sector belonged to the Baluch regiment of the Pakistan army's 12th Division.

"It was a local tactical operation that lasted about 8-10 minutes – a hit and run operation," said a source in the army.

The operation comes close on the heels of the gunning down of a Pakistan army sniper on Sunday at Jhangar sector near Rajouri.

Probably for the first time in recent years such an operation took place in the Jammu region that comes under the 16 Corps of the army.

Such actions generally take place in areas north of Pir Panjal that is looked after by the Srinagar-based 15 corps.

Cross-border strikes on Pakistan army posts and terror camps do take place in the state, but such engagements were seldom publicised in the past.

The tradition was broken last year when the army – after a political endorsement – went to the town with its sensational claim of a "surgical strike" on September 29, 2016, to avenge the Uri attack.

Unlike the surgical strike, there has been no political ownership of the present cross-border raid.

The Indian army even officially refused to either confirm or deny the movement across the 740-km Line of Control (LoC).

Since 2016, the disputed boundary between the two neighbouring nations witnessed increasing military action, which is on a steady rise.

As many as 61 Indian army personnel were killed in the state in 2017 in counter-insurgency operations, ceasefire violation and while stopping infiltration bids.

Until December 25, there were nearly 823 incidents of ceasefire violation as against 228 across the LoC in 2016, in addition to 221 such incidents along the international border manned by the Border Security Force.

The number of ceasefire violations in 2014 and 2015 was 153 and 150, respectively, suggesting how the tension in the border areas flared up in the last 24 months as the NDA government hardened its stand on Jammu & Kashmir.

Resumption of a comprehensive bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan was stalled following the terror attack on the Indian Air Force's Pathankot base in January 2016.

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