A group of five Army commandos crossed the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir and killed three Pakistani soldiers, in a swift and daring operation last evening.
The “tactical strike” in Rukh Chakri sector in Rawlakot, which brought back memories of last year's ‘surgical strikes’, is seen as avenging the killing of four Indian Army personnel including a Major by a Border Action Team of the Pakistan Army in Keri sector of Rajouri on Saturday.
Army sources said a “small group” of five ‘Ghatak’ (deadly) commandos carried out the operation 200-300 metres inside the Pakistan occupied territory from the LoC in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed and another injured.
The operation took place hours after Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav met his wife and mother in Islamabad.
The Pakistan Army has confirmed the death of the three soldiers but asserted that they died in unprovoked firing and that Indian soldiers had not crossed the LoC. Sources said Pakistan raised the issue of the strike by Indian soldiers during the weekly talks between the two armies over the hotline.
A brigadier from the Indian Army and a colonel-rank officer from Pakistan talked about the situation along the LoC during the telephonic conversation.
The sources said yesterday’s operation cannot be compared to last year’s surgical strikes as it was a small team of commandos carried out the attack with a “limited aim” following orders from the local commander of the Army unit.
They said the operation began around 6 pm and the team returned to their camp within 45 minutes and that none of the commandos sustained any injury.
A temporary post of the Pakistan Army was smashed in the strike. The post was under extensive surveillance much before the operation was carried out, the sources said.
On Saturday, the Border Action Team of the Pakistan Army had killed four Indian Army personnel including a Major in Rajouri. The sources said Pakistani soldiers killed in the operation were from Pakistan Army's 59 Baloch regiment.
There were reports that the number of casualty on the Pakistani side was four but Army sources maintained that they have confirmation about three deaths. The Indian Army had carried out "surgical strikes" in September last year, targeting alleged terror launch pads on the Pakistani side.
The Indian Army has been adopting a "tough" approach in dealing with ceasefire violations and terrorist activities in the last one year.
According to official figure, a total of 820 incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops were reported in the current year till today as against 221 last year.
A total of 61 Army personnel including three Garud commandos were killed in action in Jammu and Kashmir this year while the Army killed 210 terrorists in the same period.
Out of the total terrorists killed, 62 were killed along the Line of Control and 148 in the hinterland in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.