Thursday, September 29, 2016
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Cross-LoC raid was ordered around Wednesday noon; may have killed 40, say unofficial reportsIndian Army soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence on the Line of Control. — File photo

Cross-LoC raid was ordered around Wednesday noon; may have killed 40, say unofficial reports

Target was shoot to kill29 Sep 2016 | 9:42 PM

NEW DELHI: It was around noon on Wednesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned the military strike across the Line of Control (LoC) to destroy terrorist camps located in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Unconfirmed reports said around 40 terrorists may have been killed in the raid. However, there was no official word on it.

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Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 29

It was around noon on Wednesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned the military strike across the Line of Control (LoC) to destroy terrorist camps located in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Unconfirmed reports said around 40 terrorists present at seven launch pads across LoC and they may have been killed in the Indian Army’s surgical strikes. However, there was no official word on it.

Troops from the 4 and 9 para special forces were used in the operations.

Over the next 16-17 hours, the dynamics kept changing and ended when the Indian Army team reported back successful around 4.30 am on Thursday. The top brass of the political establishment was informed that the operation was a success.

(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)

Though cross-LoC military action has been done in the past, the first public announcement of such move came on Thursday morning when Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh announced this at a press conference.

Top sources explained to The Tribune that a military move was ordered in two parts that would be spread across an arc of 250 km. The targets were seven terrorist launch pads at seven locations across the LoC that included the Lepa valley, Tatta Pani and Bimber.  

The first was to fire artillery guns across the LoC, including from a location near Uri–close to the same place where terrorists had killed 18 Army soldiers on September 18. The second was to use the confusion caused by the artillery fire to sneak in troops from pre-decided spots across the LoC by using the several ingress routes.

As the artillery opened up, three separate teams of heavily armed soldiers of the Indian Army crossed over to the PoK, they were backed by UAV’s providing live footage to the Northern command in Udhampur, the tactical headquarters of the three Army divisions at Baramulla, Kupwara and Poonch.

The orders were clear “just shoot to kill…don’t leave behind any injured soldier…be quick and destroy everything”. The troops needed to surprise the terrorists in these camps.

The actual operation lasted four hours that is it commenced around 12.30 am on Thursday and ended at 4.30 am on Thursday. Around 2 pm on Wednesday, the special teams had been asked to move forward. Helicopters dropped teams at advanced pre-decided locations.  

From afternoon till nightfall on Wednesday, briefings were conducted, and troop leaders given clear instructions. The go-ahead to cross the LoC was for midnight; in the meantime, the artillery fire had distracted the Pakistani troops.

The Indian Army troops were carrying heavy firing capability that included shoulder-fired weapons.

Around 5 am on Thursday, the Pakistan Army retaliated with artillery fire and around 7.30 am US National Security Adviser Susan Rice called up Indian NSA Ajit Doval. — With agencies


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