The Border Security Force has launched a major operation along the International Border, to uncover a tunnel through which militants are suspected to have infiltrated Kathua district, an officer told PTI on Wednesday.

BSF Inspector General (Jammu Frontier) Ram Awtar said the force had inducted several machines for excavation and a large number of troops into the area and a search was underway.

“They [the infiltrators] are five in number,” BSF Director General KK Sharma told DNA. “We will track and neutralise them soon.”

The Pakistan Army allegedly violated ceasefire along the border in Samba district on Tuesday. They resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on forward posts in the Manguchak area, leading to retaliation by the Indian Army. A BSF constable was killed in the firing. Sharma said that the force had prevented a Pakistan-backed infiltration bid during the firing.

“Alert troops noticed some suspicious movement on the International Border,” Sharma said. “An illumination bomb was fired at the site and troops opened fire. The militants managed to flee. But after some time their movement was noticed again. This time Pakistani troops also opened fire and in the cross-border firing constable Devender Singh was killed.”

The BSF operation comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit Jammu and Kashmir on May 19.