November 1999 News

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Indian officer, 17 Pakistani troops die in Uri fighting

10 November 1999
The Asian Age
By Special Correspondent

SRINAGAR: An Indian Army officer and three soldiers were killed in night-long artillery shelling by Pakistan troops on Indian forward positions in Uri sector.

The shelling, defence sources here said, came after Indian troops repelled a major Pakistani offensive aimed at capturing a strategic picket along the Line of Control in this sector on Tuesday. Seventeen intruders were killed in Indian shelling, the sources said.

,p>Captain Joginder Singh Suri, a naik and two sepoys died when the picket in the Haji Peer Pass they were manning was hit by an artillery shell fired from across the LoC. Sources said the shelling in the Uri sector continued till Wednesday morning. On Tuesday evening, a defence spokesman said in New Delhi that at least 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed when Indian troops repelled their attack in Uri, the second major one in this sector after the Kargil conflict and the subsequent military coup in Islamabad. The spokesman added that 10 bodies of Pakistani soldiers with weapons had been recovered. Defence sources here said the toll among the Pakistani soldiers had risen to 17.

Reports from Uri said Indian troops fired six artillery shells towards the Pakistani area on Tuesday after witnessing the suspicious movements of a large number of heavily armed men who were coming towards an Indian forward position along the LoC. Though the exact number of casualties among the group was not known immediately, Pakistani troops retaliated by targeting Indian positions with heavy artillery and mortar shelling and occasional small-arm fire.

An Inter-Services Public Relations spokesman said in Islamabad that Pakistani troops repulsed an unprovoked attack by Indian troops across the LoC in Bagh Sector of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He claimed Indian troops launched an "unprovoked attack" on a small Pakistani post in the Bagh Sector on Tuesday evening.

The Pakistani spokesman stated that over 200 Indian troops, supported by intense artillery and mortar shelling and heavy automatic weapon fire, attack the position. "Pakistani troops responded effectively to beat back the attack, inflicting heavy casualties upon the enemy and compelling them to flee," he added.

In response to a question, the spokesman said "the Indian Army had embarked upon its usual, malicious and totally false propaganda campaign.


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