Srinagar: The Indian Army killed seven Pakistani soldiers on Monday as it retaliated to unprovoked ceasefire violation from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Mendhar sector in Poonch district. At least four soldiers of the neighbouring country are injured, according to the sources there is no word from the Army on casualties on the Indian side.
Sources said the Pakistani troops resorted to sudden mortar shelling and small arms fire on forward Indian positions along the LoC in Dehri Dabsi area around 10.15 am. The Indian Army, sources added, retaliated strongly and effectively and the exchange of fire lasted for nearly an hour.
Pakistan has claimed to have killed three Indian soldiers. “4 Pakistan Army soldiers embraced shahadat along LOC in Jandrot, Kotli sector. Troops were busy in Line communication maintenance when they were fired upon and hit by heavy mortar round. Exchange of fire killed 3 Indian soldiers while few injured,” Pakistani Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor wrote on Facebook. The Pakistan government, too, posted this on its Twitter account.
The ceasefire violation from Pakistan came less than 24 hours after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asked both India and Pakistan to have cordial relations for the sake of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who were the main victims of hostilities between the two countries.
Monday’s exchange of fire came even as the Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat said that if forced, the Army might step up military offensive against Pakistan.
“Pakistan Army has been continuously trying to help terrorists sneak into India along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. We are using our might to teach them a lesson. We will keep effectively retaliating to any provocative action by Pakistan.”
“If we are forced, then we may resort to ‘other action’ by stepping up military offensive,” Rawat added. “We will not let anti-India activities succeed at any cost.”