Three soldiers, two militants killed along LoC in J&K

Three soldiers, two militants killed along LoC in J&K

Sources said that it could be a Border Action Team (BAT) attack of the Pakistan army. Representative image.

Three soldiers and two militants were killed in a gunfight along the Line of Control (LoC) in Sunderbani sector in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

A fierce encounter erupted between the army and a heavily armed group of militants very close to the LoC in Sunderbani sector at about 1:45 pm.

“The army killed two intruders and recovered warlike stores including two AK-47 rifles,” a source said.

“Immediate reaction from other posts effectively cordoned the area and the search and destroy operation is in progress,” he said.

Three soldiers were killed in the operation, he said, adding that a soldier suffered grave injuries and was air-lifted to Army Command hospital, Udhampur, where his condition is reported to be stable.

Sources said that it could be a Border Action Team (BAT) attack of the Pakistan army.

“Pakistani army has deployed several battalions of the ‘Mujahid Force Regiment’, which is part of its dreaded BAT, along the LoC and the international border (IB) to help terrorists infiltrate and target Indian troops,” they said.

Recently, Lieutenant General AK Bhatt, Corps commander of Srinagar-based 15-Corps, stated that over 250 militants were waiting across LoC to infiltrate into the Indian territory.

Sources said that the infiltration attempt could rise in the coming days as the weather has started opening-up in some of the areas.

“With infiltration attempts, BAT attacks too would increase in the coming months. However, the army has devised its strategy accordingly and they are maintaining high alert along the LoC in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, not only to tackle the ceasefire violations but also to foil BAT attacks,” they added.

Defence experts say that the Pakistan's Special Services Group (SSG) forms the core of the BAT, besides the dreaded terrorists from Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad outfits, for trans-LoC action up to a depth of one to three kilometre.

"As Indian posts are closer to Pakistan in Rajouri and Poonch sectors, the rugged terrain and thicker forests gives BATs an advantage to escape. The BAT usually mutilates the bodies of Indian soldiers to wage psychological warfare,” they said.

The BAT camps, unlike the largely make-shift terror-training camps and launch pads across the LoC, consist of around 40-50 Pakistan army regulars and commandos being specially trained for cross-border raids and ambushes, experts said.