Four terror camps hit in PoK, three destroyed: Army Chief
New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS)
Four terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) were hit and a number of terrorists killed in retaliatory artillery firing by India following the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, Army chief, General Bipin Rawat said.
"We had information that terror camps are operating in PoK in areas opposite Keran, Tangdhar and Nowgam sectors which we call the Leepa valley. These were targeted. At 6-10 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the attack. A similar number of terrorists have also been killed.
"There is more information about terrorists killed which we will share later. We have confirmed information about more at least three terror camps have been destroyed in the attack. There have been damages to a fourth camp too," Rawat told the media.
IANS had reported earlier during the day that four terror camps have been hit in PoK in the retaliatory firing by India.
Earlier, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to top army officials, including the army chief, on Sunday to take stock of the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir in which two Indian soldiers and a civilian were killed.
The Army identified the soldiers as Hawaldar Padam Bahadur Shrestha and Rifleman Gamil Kumar Shrestha. Both were killed by artillery firing by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Tangdhar sector on the intervening night of October 19 and 20.
"Rajnath Singh spoke to Gen Rawat and took stock of the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir. He enquired about the counter-attack launched by Indian security forces and the martyrdom of the two soldiers killed and the civilian casualty during the ceasefire violation," a senior official told IANS.
Rawat said that the political leadership has been kept abreast of the developments in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The political leadership is always kept abreast about incidents of these nature. We have full backing of the political leadership in our action against countering terror in whichever manner we do," he said.
Civilian areas in Ghundhishat village in Tangdhar were also hit by the Pakistan Army's artillery firing on Saturday night. The deceased civilian has been identified as Mohammed Sadiq, 55. The three injured civilians have been identified as Mohammed Maqbool, 70, Mohammed Shafi, 50, and Yusuf Hamid, 22.
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Army officials confirmed that calibrated escalation of area weapons was undertaken by the Indian side in which terrorist launch pads, Pakistani Army posts giving incidental protection to these launch pads and certain gun positions were hit.
Sources said that at least 35 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants were killed in retaliatory artillery firing. Army sources said at least four terror launch pads in the Neelam Valley of PoK opposite the Tangdhar sector. They also said that at least four to five Pakistani soldiers were killed in the retaliatory firing.
The developments in Jammu and Kashmir come a day before Rajnath Singh and Rawat are slated to visit Ladakh for opening a strategic bridge near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China along the newly-constructed all-weather motorable Leh-Karakoram road.