M A I N   N E W S

Jawan killed in Pak ‘BAT strike’
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Tribune News Service

Jammu, May 19
An Army jawan was killed and two critically injured in an attack by suspected personnel of Pakistan's notorious Border Action Team (BAT) on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Akhnoor sub-division, north of Jammu district, on Sunday.

The group of unidentified armed personnel targeted an Army patrol with mines and small arms around 11 am yesterday. “In an incident near Akhnoor, an Army patrol was targeted with mines and small arms fire by a group of unidentified armed personnel around 11 am yesterday. Our alert troops returned effective fire and the group fled back across the LoC towards the Pakistan Army post,” Jammu-based Defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Mehta said.

The Border Action Team is a mix of Special Services Group commandos and Lashkar terrorists. The Pakistan Army had carried out two BAT attacks last year on January 8 and August 5 in the Balnoi and Chakan-da-Bagh areas of Poonch district along the LoC killing seven soldiers, which included the brutal killing and decapitation of Lance Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh.

Injuries or effect of our retaliatory firing on the fleeing personnel was not immediately known, Col Mehta said. “Search of the area yielded Pakistan-made mines and other equipment that clearly suggests the involvement of Pakistan and terrorists from across the Line of Control,” he said. Search operations were in progress till reports last came in.

Sepoy Bhikale Uttam Balu of 2 Maratha Light Infantry was martyred while two soldiers suffered splinter injuries and a gunshot wound, Col Mehta said. 





Soldier killed in Budgam gunfight
Azhar Qadri
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 19
A soldier was killed and three others wounded on Monday afternoon in a fierce gunfight between militants and security forces in Budgam district of Kashmir. The gunfight erupted when security forces, acting on a specific intelligence about the presence of several wanted militant commanders in the house of a police constable, launched a cordon and search operation at Kausar-mulla village of Budgam district, nearly 25 km from here.

The group of four to five militants, including Lashkar-e-Toiba’s Qasim and his two local deputies Bilal Ahmad and Irshad Ganai, were suspected to be inside the house, sources said. Qasim is the most wanted militant commander in the Kashmir region. He is said to lead Lashkar operations in south and central Kashmir and has masterminded several high-profile attacks in the recent years. Ganai was part of a two-member squad that carried out an audacious attack on an Army convoy last August on the eve of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit. Eight soldiers were killed in the attack.

Sources said security forces personnel were still in the process of placing a cordon around the policeman’s house when they came under attack. The militants fired multiple bursts, hitting four soldiers. One of them later succumbed to injuries.

The slain soldier, Mushtaq Mir, was a sepoy with 162 Battalion of Territorial Army and currently attached to 53 Rashtriya Rifles.






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