Ind commandos kill 3 Pak soldiers in cross-LoC 'tit-for-tat' raid
In a "tit-for-tat" operation, five highly-trained Indian Army commandos went some 300 meters across the LoC and killed at least three Pakistani soldiers, two days after four Indian Army men, including a Major, were shot dead in a surprise attack by Pakistan, sources said on Tuesday.
Defence sources called it a "tactical retaliatory strike", decided at a local level by the brigade commander. But the sources did not name the battalion that carried out the operation.
"It was a short-distance and short-duration operation unlike the surgical strike (last year)," said a defence official, who did not want to be named.
The sources said four to five Ghatak Commandos were involved in the operation. Ghatak Commandos are drawn from infantry and trained to carry out covert special operations.
"It was a tit-for-tat action... Whatever Pakistan does to us, we will do the same," the official said, warning that more such operations would be conducted if Pakistani forces continue targeting Indian troops.
The sources said the action was taken around 6 p.m. on Monday after some Pakistani military personnel tried to cross over apparently to plant IEDs on the Indian side of the border.
They said Pakistani forces belonging to 59 Baloch Regiment had set up a temporary post close to the LoC in Rukh Chakri sector of Rawalakot and "at least three Pakistani soldiers were killed while one was injured". They said it was possible that the casualty figure may be higher.
The incident took place along the LoC in Pooch.
The sources, however, didn't term the action a surgical strike -- like the one conducted on September 29, 2016, when Indian army commandos crossed the Line of Control (LoC) to target terror launch pads inside Pakistan-controlled territory, killing dozens of terrorists and their sympathisers.
Since the 2016 Surgical Strike, this is the first publicised incident of Indian soldiers crossing the LoC, though sources said from time to time Indian troops do cross the de facto border to target Pakistani forces.
Pakistan Army confirmed the death of three soldiers in an "unprovoked heavy cross-border shelling by Indian forces" at Rukh Chakri sector.
The incident took place two days after four Indian soldiers, who were part of a patrol party, were killed by Pakistan troops in heavy cross-border targeted firing in the Rajouri sector.
On Sunday, two Pakistani snipers, who were trying to target Indian soldiers on the LoC, were killed in Indian firing on the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts.
The Monday deaths take the Pakistani casualty toll to five in two days.
India claims that Pakistan violated the 2003 ceasefire accord along the LoC between the two countries at least 820 times this year. - IANS