A soldier was beheaded by a militant in Kupwara’s Machil near the Line of Control on Friday while Indian troops were engaged in cross-border firing with Pakistan army, sources in the Army have said. A militant was also killed in the exchange of fire, a spokesperson said.
Majid Jahangir and Amir Tantray
Tribune News Service
Srinagar/ Jammu, October 28
A soldier was beheaded by a militant in Kupwara’s Machil near the Line of Control on Friday while Indian troops were engaged in cross-border firing with Pakistan army, sources in the Army have said.
A militant was also killed in the exchange of fire, a spokesperson said.
The official statement initially was: "In a despicable act, the terrorist mutilated the body of the Indian Army soldier before fleeing into PoK."
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The spokesperson said that Pakistan Army’s firing at army outposts provided cover for the militant.
"This barbarism is a true reflection that pervades official and non-official organisations across the border. This act will invite an appropriate response," he said.
The cross-border firing was still under way when this report was filed.
BSF claims 15 Pak soldiers killed
The Border Security Force claimed on Friday that they killed 15 Pakistani troopers this past week as continual cross-border shelling along the International Border and the Line of Control has ratcheted up tensions between India and Pakistan. Two civilians have been killed in the firing in Jammu.
BSF Additional Director General Arun Kumar told reporters: "Fifteen Pakistani soliders have been killed in retaliatory firing and shelling by BSF. We have destroyed their OP (outposts) and damaged a few."
The BSF and Army have responded “appropriately and befittingly”, a defence spokesman said.
“There was unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army in Sunderbani, Pallanwala and Nowshera sectors of Rajouri and Jammu districts,” the spokesman said.
They used small arms, automatics, 82 mm mortars and 120 mm mortars in the firing and shelling, he said.
“They are being responded to appropriately and befittingly. No casualties to our troops have been reported,” he said.
Firing and shelling continued overnight along the international border.
“At 5.20 pm on Thursday, Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked heavy firing and shelling in Katgus sector of Jammu which further spread to Hiranagar and Samba. It continued till 5 am on Friday in areas of 24 BSF posts,” a senior BSF officer said, adding that the BSF responded strongly after which the firing stopped. “Some Pakistani posts and villages had suffered heavy damage," he said.
One civilian was killed in Jammu’s Khor belt of district and a second was killed along the Line of Control in Poonch’s Mendar sector as Pakistani troops continued truce violations on Friday with firing and mortar shelling on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC and international border in Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts. A civilian was injured in RS Pura.
BSF said it appeared from the mortar shells fired from across the International Border that Pakistan’s Army was supporting its paramilitary rangers.
Pakistan however denied India's claims of having killed 15 paramilitary rangers.
"Indian claims of killing any Pakistani soldier at the Working Boundary is absolutely baseless and untrue," the ISPR said in a statement. "India's claim is part of their propaganda campaign aimed to hide their losses at the Working Boundary and also divert world attention from the Kashmir issue," it said.
On Thursday, a Pakistani Ranger was killed and another injured in the retaliatory firing by the BSF, as Pakistani troops heavily shelled five sectors along the LoC and IB in J&K in which one BSF jawan died and 13 other civilians were injured.
While Pakistani troops pounded BoPs and hamlets along IB in Kathua, Hiranagar sectors (Kathua), RS Pura and Arnia sectors (Jammu) and Samba sector, they also targeted forward Indian posts and villages along the LoC in Krishnagati, Balakote and Mankote sectors (Poonch) and Sunderbani sector (Rajouri) on Thursday.
Since surgical strikes by army on terror launch pads in PoK on September 28-29, five Indians, including four security personnel, have been killed and 34 injured in ceasefire violations.
On October 21, the BSF killed seven Pak Rangers and a terrorist opposite the Hiranagar sector along IB in Kathua, in which one BSF jawan was injured.
On October 25, at least two to three Pakistani armymen are believed to have been killed in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district. (With PTI)