Pak troops cross LoC, kill 2 soldiers

Northern Command Chief Visits Area, Reviews Situation


Jammu, Jan 8: In a horrid attack, Pakistani troops Tuesday crossed into Indian territory and ambushed an Army patrol party killing two soldiers whose heads were reportedly chopped off.
The attack took place along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district when Pakistanis came about 100 metres into Indian territory and assaulted the patrol party. Besides killing two Lance Naiks, Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh, they also injured two other soldiers.
During the brutal assault on the patrol party, the Pakistanis are said to have chopped off their heads, one of which they carried with them, informed sources said.
However, the Army, while confirming the killing of Indian soldiers, did not comment on reports that they had been beheaded. According to the sources, the Border Action Team (BAT) of Pakistani Army entered the Indian territory at Krishna Ghati area of Poonch district and carried out the strikes. Army, while confirming the killing of Indian soldiers, did not comment on reports that they were beheaded. However, Deputy Commissioner Poonch AK Sahu said: “(The) Pakistani soldiers slit the throats of two army soldiers.” He said the 29 Baloch regiment is said to be involved in the attack.
Army's Udhampur-based Northern Command came out with a statement terming the attack as a “significant escalation” to the continuing series of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts supported by Pakistan Army.
“A group of their regular soldiers intruded across the Line of Control in the Mendhar Sector on January 8. Pakistan army troops, having taken advantage of thick fog and mist in the forested area, were moving towards our posts when an alert area domination patrol spotted and engaged the intruders,” it said.
“The fire fight between Pakistan and our troops continued for approximately half an hour after which the intruders retreated towards their side of LoC. Two soldiers Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh laid down their lives while fighting the Pakistani troops,” it said without giving any further details.
This is yet another “grave provocation” by Pakistan Army which is being taken up sternly through official channels, the statement said.
Army's Additional Director General (Public Information) Maj Gen S L Narasimhan said Northern Commander Lt Gen K T Parnaik has visited the scene of action and confirmed that one of the two bodies was “mutilated”.
 “Northern Army Commander is in that area and as per him, one body is mutilated.”
He said there was “no doubt” that Pakistani troops were behind the incident and "they seem to have entered the Indian territory taking advantage of the thick fog and mist there.”
Asked about the preparation of Indian troops in the region, Narasimhan said, "our soldiers are on alert and there are Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on such issues and they are being taken care off.”
Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh has talked to Lt Gen Parnaik on the issue to take stock of the situation there. The Army Headquarters has also briefed the Defence Ministry on the issue.
The attack comes a day after Pakistan lodged a strong protest over what it described as an "unprovoked Indian attack" on one of its military posts along the Line of Control, a claim which the Indian Army rejected.
PTI adds from New Delhi: Meanwhile, India today told Pakistan to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir in the backdrop of the recent firing incidents over which the two countries engaged in a blame-game.
A day after its Deputy High Commissioner was called to the Pakistan Foreign Office to lodge a protest over what it termed as an "unprovoked Indian attack” on one of its military posts along the LoC, India denied violating the ceasefire, saying, Pakistan troops started "unprovoked firing” on Indian troops who undertook controlled retaliation in response.
“We deny that Indian troops had crossed the Line of Control in the Rampur sector or had violated the ceasefire.
“The fact is that in the early hours of January 6, Pakistan troops in the sector commenced unprovoked firing on Indian troops. The roof of a civilian house in Churunda village was damaged in the Pak mortar fire. Indian troops undertook controlled retaliation in response," the official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said here.
“We also call upon the Pakistan authorities to ensure that the sanctity of the Line of Control is upheld at all times and to ensure that such incidents of unprovoked firing across the LoC do not recur," he said.
He also asserted that “India is strongly committed to the sanctity of the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir, which is the most important Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between the two countries. The ceasefire along the LoC, which has largely held since 2003, is an important element of this CBM. The Director Generals for Military Operations (DGsMO) of both sides have spoken to each other on the incident.”
Claiming that Indian troops had allegedly crossed the LoC and "raided" a border post, Pakistan said its troops "effectively responded and repulsed the attack successfully”.
The incident had resulted in the death of a Pakistani soldier and injuries to another, they also charged.
However, the Indian Army denied the incident and said “no such incident has taken place where our soldiers have attacked any Pakistani post.”
Indian army sources also said this allegation by the Pakistani army seems to be an attempt to cover up its firing on Indian posts in Uri sector.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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