Launchpads, ammunition depots across LoC destroyed: Army

File photo

SRINAGAR:  Tension has gripped the Line of Control (LoC) after the army claimed to have destroyed Pakistani gun positions and militant launch pads in Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) on Friday.

“Unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistani n Keran sector. Own troops retaliated effectively and strongly. Precision targeting of gun areas, militant launch pads, and ammunition dump carried out. Reports of heavy damage on the enemy side”, said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, the defence spokesman at Srinagar.

 

The army also released a 48-second video to substantiate its claim of hitting the targets across the Line of Control in Keran sector. The video showed pinpoint targeting of location with precision bombing. Huge plumes of smoke and sparks could be seen in the video after shells hit the target.

Sources said the army used 105 mm Field Guns and 155 mm Bofors Howitzer artillery guns to target strategic locations deep into Pakistani territory.  While 105 mm Field Guns have a range of 17,200 meters, the 155 mm Bofors Howitzer gun has a 24 km range.

Sources said launch pads in Athmuqam and Dudniyal were specifically targetted. Sources said the recently killed militants had crossed from one of the launch pads on March 31. The shelling continued for at least two hours. 

The retaliatory action comes five days after the army lost five elite para commandos in a five-day-long gunfight with the newly infiltrated militants on the LoC in the Keran sector. 

The fierce gunfight broke out on Saturday evening when the army was combing the dense forest area for the fourth consecutive day to locate a group of infiltrators, who had managed to give them a slip after a brief exchange of fire on April 1.   Five militants were later killed.  

Five commandos killed on the Line of Control (LoC) belonged to elite 4 Para (Special Forces) which had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan Administered Kashmir in September 2016.

This is the first major escalation post airstrikes by Indian Air Force across Pakistan in Balakote on February 27 last year.

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