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Posted at: Oct 29, 2016, 9:24 AM; last updated: Oct 29, 2016, 10:51 PM (IST)

Indian army retaliates to Pak firing; says 4 posts destroyed

Estimates show 23 soldiers killed so far; 7 posts attacked

Ajay Banerjee and Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar/ New Delhi

The Indian Army claimed it destroyed four Pakistan outposts in the Keran sector in a massive fire assault on Saturday, as it opened a vociferous retaliation to Pakistan troops’ firing across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Heavy casualties inflicted," the Indian Army’s northern command said.

New Delhi has been monitoring developments in Tangdhar, Mendhar and Kupwara all of this week. Seven posts of Pakistan Army in these sectors have suffered heavy casualties.

The heavy shelling has also caused the dry grass on the lower hills on Pakistan’s side to catch fire.

An Indian assessment shows that Pakistan has lost some 23 soldiers — both its Army and the Rangers — in the past few days, a number it arrived at using human intelligence gathering on the other side and the technical surveillance. 

Indian Army has its posts all along the 749 km-long LoC and the troops have been told to retaliate with full force to any cross-border firing.

The development comes less than a day after militants mutilated and beheaded an Indian soldier in Machil under the cover of Pakistan’s firing.

BSF trooper killed

A trooper of the Border Security Force (BSF) was killed in Kashmir's Machil sector on Friday evening and another was injured in Keran on Saturday in truce violations by Pakistan.

BSF constable Nitin Koli of Sangli, Maharashtra, was killed during the intervening night of Friday and Saturday immediately after militants carried out an attack close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil sector in which a soldier was killed and his body was mutilated before militants fled across to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. 

“The BSF constable was killed in the ceasefire violation by Pakistan,” a BSF spokesman in Srinagar said.

The Indian side responded to the ceasefire violation. Sources said the firing had stopped.

"One of the BSF jawan has been injured in the exchange of fire," a senior security official said.

Keran also witnessed heavy exchange of firing since Saturday morning.

A civilian was injured during the day in the cross border shelling in the area. However, her condition is stated to be stable. The intense shelling has caused panic in the area.

Earlier the day, Army had said the Indian Army's response had been firm, intense but military-like.


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