August 1999 News

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Pakistan troops launch major build-up along LoC

10 August 1999
Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI: Pakistani Army has launched a major build-up along the 140-km Line of Control (LoC) even as Indian Army was trying to get two strategic points vacated in Kargil sector of North Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan was reinforcing its units under the 92 Brigade in Skardu region of Pak-occupied Kashmir along Mushkoh, Drass, Kaksar and Batalik sub-sectors, official sources quoting Field Intelligence Units report said here.

They said Pakistan’s move comes close on the heels of India deciding to raise its troop strength in the region after the Kargil incursions.

Meanwhile, fighting was still going on for recapturing the point 5353 in Mushkoh valley, situated on the Line of Control (LoC), which Islamabad claims to be a part of Pakistan.

This feature belongs to India as per the maps signed by the two Directors General of Military Operations in 1972 after the Simla agreement.

The feature is important as it overlooks whole of the Drass and Matayan areas along the National Highway 1-A, the sources said.

Another feature, point5468, Northeast of Muntho Dalo in the Batalik sub-sector has also been illegally occupied by Pakistani troops and efforts were on to re-capture it, the sources said.

Meanwhile, intermittent artillery shelling by Pakistan continued in and around the Kargil town. The sources said since the targets had been registered earlier it was easy for Pakistan to shell the vital installations in the area.

In the meantime, the Indian Army was facing an uphill task of de-mining the features vacated by Pakistani troops in last week of July.

The sources said Pakistani troops had burried hundreds of small but deadly Anti-Personnel Mines (APM) before retreating.

The Army dug out nearly 400 such APM’s from one feature called Dog hill in Drass sector.

Pakistani troops had planted snow mines in higher reaches of Batalik in a bid to inflict casualties on the Indian Army. The movement of troops has already been affected by an early snowfall this year. (PTI)

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