Tuesday, October 16, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Indian troops kill 12 terrorists
Destroy 11 Pakistani posts

Jammu, October 15
Indian soldiers late tonight fired on Pakistani army positions killing 12 terrorists who tried to sneak into India and flattening 11 Pakistani posts across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Mendhar and Akhnoor sectors of Jammu and Kashmir, a defence spokesman said here.

The Indian Armyís action drew retaliatory fire by Pakistani security personnel who also used machine guns and mortars, defence sources said.

US President George W. Bush asked India and Pakistan to "stand down" saying "it is very important" that the countries do so in view "of our activities in Afghanistan, for that matter for ever".

Using heavy weapons like machine guns, artillery guns, mortars and rockets, the Indian troops launched a successful punitive operation against the Pakistani army which had used the Mendhar sector to push in militants and weapons, the defence spokesman said.

"Twelve terrorists were killed because of the effective firing by the Indian soldiers," the spokesman said in New Delhi.

"This is a punitive step against Pakistan armyís repeated involvement in abetting terrorist activities across the LoC and international border in the Mendhar sector," the spokesman said.

He said the Indian Army inflicted large-scale damage to Pakistani military bunkers and fortifications.

Similar operations were also carried out in the Akhnoor sector where the Pakistani army had planted explosive devices on the Indian side which damaged a number of electricity poles and transformers in recent past.

"We have taken effective punitive action. We have completely destroyed their posts," said Brig P.C. Dass of 16 Corps.

Pakistani troops had opened heavy fire along the international border in Jammu division, killing a civilian at Gharkhal village in the Akhnoor sector last night.

Pakistani gunners were reported to have opened retaliatory fire on Indian posts.

Defence sources said 105mm, 130mm guns and 160mm mortars were used in the Indian Armyís operations which were still continuing till the filing of the report.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday condemned an "unprovoked" Indian artillery barrage which it claimed killed one woman and injured 25 civilians and demanded New Delhi stop "state-sponsored terrorism."

Military spokesman Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi confirmed that Indian troops had shelled two sectors in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

"Twentyfive civilians were wounded and a woman was martyred when the Indians started unprovoked and unjustified firing in two sectors," he said.

"Itís high time the world and the USA declares India a state which sponsors terrorism. The firing was totally unjustified and they were clearly trying to kill civilians," he said. PTI, AFP


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