Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said three terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir were destroyed in retaliation after two soldiers and a civilian were killed in ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district earlier in the day, ANI reported. Three civilians were injured in the firing in Ghundhishat village of Tangdhar district.
The three terror launch pads in Neelam Valley – opposite the Tangdhar sector of Kupwara – reportedly belonged to militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed. The Army used artillery guns for the operation.
Rawat said six to 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the attacks. “We had the coordinates of these camps,” he told ANI. “We have caused severe damage to terrorists infrastructure across [the LoC].”
The Army chief said the military was getting repeated inputs about militants from across the border making infiltration attempts ever since Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status was revoked.
However, Pakistan denied the Indian Army’s claim, PTI reported. The country’s Armed Forces spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor also criticised the Indian media. “Get access to IOJ&K and have moral courage to cover damages caused by Pakistan Army,” Ghafoor tweeted. “All your previous claims met their fate so shall this one. Follow journalistic ethos of Pakistan media for reporting with responsibility.”
He also claimed five civilians were killed in the attacks. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia after the incident, ANI reported.
Earlier in the day, an Indian Army spokesperson said Pakistan Army posts and terrorist camps were hit through a “calibrated escalation of area weapons” as the Pakistan Army was “giving incidental protection to these launch pads”.
The Army said it retains “the right to respond at a time and place of its choosing” in case the Pakistan Army continues to assist infiltrators.
Indian Air Force jets had last struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on February 26 in retaliation against the killing of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Pulwama on February 14.
India has repeatedly told Pakistan to stop targeting civilians during ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. There were 296 cases of ceasefire violations in July, 307 in August, and 292 in September. Sixty-one cases of “calibre escalation”, which implies use of mortar and heavy weaponry, were also reported in the last month.
The central government said 2,050 cases of unprovoked firing were reported till September in which 21 lives were lost. A government spokesperson said Pakistan had been requested several times to abide by a ceasefire agreement signed in 2003.
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