January 2000 News

25 Pak soldiers killed near LoC

22 January 2000
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: At least 25 Pakistani soldiers, including an officer, were killed near Raipore in the Aknoor sector of the Jammu division early this morning, when Indian troops repulsed an attack launched by them on a post in the Chamb area. Four Indian soldiers were injured during the attack on the post, 'PP 13'.

The Pakistani forces reportedly used heavy mortars, medium and heavy machine guns, recoil-less guns and rocket launchers.

According to Brig. Randhir Sinh, Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of the Nagrota-based 16 Corps, about 30 soldiers of the Pakistan Army launched an attack on the Nodiyal post in the Chamb area along the Line of Control (LoC) at around 5 a.m. They resorted to heavy firing and crossed the LoC, he told The Hindu "However, they were beaten back."

Retaliatory firing pushed them further away, even as the bodies of five Pakistani soldiers, including a Lieutenant of the 24 Balouch Regiment, were recovered, he said. In the retaliatory attack, a two-storyed bunker was damaged and at least 12 Pakistani solders were killed. The number could, however, be more, Brig. Sinh said.

"Our men saw them dragging bodies out of the damaged bunker," he said. Other sources put the number at 25.

About casualties on the Indian side during the two-hour long operation, the BGS said four soldiers were injured and the condition of two was serious. About the disposal of the Pakistani soldiers' bodies, he said this matter would be taken up at the Direct-General of Military Operations (DGMO) level.

"If there is no response from Pakistan, we will go for an Islamic burial," Brig. Sinh said.

Ammunition in auto

In Jammu, with few days left for the Republic Day celebrations, panic gripped the Civil Lines area today when police recovered two AK-47 rifles and grenades left behind by two militants traveling in an autorickshaw. Police sources said two militants wearing combat dress boarded an autorickshaw from Talib Khatikhan and reached the railway station from where they moved back. the driver, noticing the suspicious movements of the two, informed a police patrol. However, before the police could act, the militants managed to escape.

Claim by Pakistan

By Amit Baruah

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan ever, came out with the allegation that the Indian forces "crossed" the Line of Control in the Iftikharabad sub-sector in the Chamb area and "launched" a company-strength attack on a Pakistani post.

"The Government of Pakistan will be lodging a protest with the Government of India... adhering to its policy of peace, Pakistan will continue to exercise restraint... We call upon India to exhibit responsibility and refrain from aggressive action which could result in grave consequences..."

"We call upon the world community to restrain India from escalating tension in the region," a Foreign Office spokesman said at a briefing this evening.

 

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