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Indian Army kills five Pakistani soldiers in LoC strike

LiveMint logoLiveMint 31-05-2017 Shaswati Das

New Delhi: The Indian Army’s special forces in Kashmir on Wednesday eliminated a Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) of five enemy soldiers, a government official said.

The offensive was conducted along the Line of Control in the Muzaffarabad sector by the Army’s Para (special forces), the official said on condition of anonymity. BAT is a special Pakistani army unit conducting cross-border operations.

“General Bipin Rawat has given the go-ahead to the Para (SF) to conduct a search and elimination operation of BAT teams of Pakistan. Heightened low-grade warfare is likely to take place this summer,” a government official said on condition of anonymity.

On 1 May, BAT raided the Krishna Ghati sector at the border, killing and mutilitating two Indian soldiers. Following this, the Indian Army on 22 May launched a series of punitive assaults on Pakistan bunkers, and released a video documenting another set of assaults on Pakistan bunkers in the Naushera sector. The government official quoted above said assaults will continue through summer.

“The army will be targeting bunkers. We will not wait for more of our men to die along the border or for more soldiers to be mutilated by Pakistan before we take action,” the official added.

While the Army did not officially clarify this, it stated that assaults were part of a “routine exercise.”

“These are routine things. They keep happening. Things have not escalated because it’s part of a routine exercise,” Army spokesperson Ashok Narula said.

While the Army revived cordon and search operations (CASO) in Shopian in Kashmir to flush out terrorists from the Valley, after a gap of 15 years, a defence official said the “army was going back to its methodology of the 1990s, with a more sophisticated approach.”

While General Rawat on Sunday asserted that the Indian Army was fighting a “dirty war” in Kashmir, referring to stone-pelters attacking troops, defence minister Arun Jaitley on 24 May gave the Army full authority to carry out operations in Kashmir as they deemed fit.

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