7 Pakistan soldiers, 6 terrorists killed


Agencies, Jammu/Srinagar Seven Pakistani soldiers were killed today in retaliatory firing by the Indian Army after a ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir where a infiltration bid was also foiled with the elimination of five militants of Pakistan-based JeM, army officers said. The army action came on a day when its chief Gen Bipin Rawat sent a stern messsage to Pakistan, saying it may escalate its offensive against terror groups and carry out the ‘other action’ if forced by the neighbouring country. In his address to army personnel in Delhi to mark the Army Day today, the Army chief said Pakistan Army is continuously trying to help terrorists sneak into India along the Line of Control (LoC) in J and K. Indian troops guarding the LoC took positions and targeted the Pakistani post involved in the ceasefire violation in Kotli by retaliatory action of heavy shelling, he said.In the retaliation, seven Pakistani soldiers were killed and four other soldiers injured, the officer said, adding the dead included a Major. The retaliation also comes after an Indian soldier was killed in Pakistan firing along the LoC in J and K’s Rajouri district last Saturday.The Pakistan Army, however, said it lost four of its soldiers in a cross-border firing by India across the LoC and claimed to have killed three Indian troops. The army personnel were fired upon and hit by heavy mortar rounds while carrying out “line communication maintenance” along the LoC in Kotli sector’s Jandrot area, the army’s media wing Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement in Islamabad. Four Pakistani soldiers were killed in the exchange of fire, it said.Three Indian soldiers were also killed, the statement claimed.The Indian Army also foiled a major infiltration attempt by Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM) militants along the LoC in Uri sector in Kashmir, killing five members of the group’s suicide squad, a senior army officer said in Srinagar. The Army foiled the infiltration bid - the first such attempt this year - by the Pakistan-based outfit in an overnight operation that ended this morning, Brigadier Y S Ahlawat told reporters in Uri, 100 km from Srinagar. Brig. Ahlawat said the infiltration attempt was made along the river Jhelum, which flows into Pakistan from India. “A major infiltration bid - the first of 2018 - by a fierce ‘fidayeen’ group has been foiled along the LoC in Uri sector. A major tragedy has been averted on Army Day and in the run up to the Republic Day celebrations,” he said. May resort to more military offensive action against Pak: Gen Rawat on infiltrations In a stern warning to Pakistan over sneaking terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Monday said that the force wouldn’t allow any anti-India activities in the state and will even take more military offensive steps in combating them. Addressing Army personnel on 70th Army Day here, Gen Rawat said, “Pakistan Army has been continuously trying to help terrorists sneak into India along Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. We are using our might to teach them a lesson. If we are forced, then we may resort to ‘other action’ by stepping up military offensive.” Stating that the Army with the help of other security forces would be able to curb the insurgency in the Northern Eastern States, Gen Rawat said, “Our intelligence based and people-friendly operations in the north-east have managed to limit terrorism to a large extent.” On soldiers who have attained martyred in fighting with terrorists, the Army Chief said, “The nation and the force will never forget their supreme sacrifice.” Praising the government for taking pro-active steps in matters relating to defence equipment, he said., “We have finalised a contract of Rs 30,000 crore in 2017-18. The Defence Minister herself was pursuing our cases. In a month, twice the meetings of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) are taking place.” On modernisation of infantry, Gen Rawat said “We are focusing on futuristic weapon system. The procurement of modernised weapons for the infantry and night surveillance equipment for border areas are under process.” In Army Aviation Corps, new helicopters were being inducted and in Air Defence, the upgradation work on missile system, control and reporting was on, he added. Earlier, he reviewed the parade and awarded Sena medals at the Cariappa Parade Ground. The Army Day is being celebrated on January 15 every year to mark the day Field Marshal K M Cariappa took over as the first Indian chief of the nation’s Army in 1949. On transgression in the Northern border, he said disputes along the Line of Actual Control in northern border (China) were continuing and transgressions were taking place and “We are working to stop them.”

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