Pak Troops Cross LoC, Kill 2 Indian Jawans: Army

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SRINAGAR: In an alarming escalation, two Indian soldiers were killed and two more injured in an attack near the Line of Control in Kashmir’s Poonch district early on Tuesday.

The army’s northern command at Udhampur said that the attack was carried out by Pakistani regulars who are said to have penetrated about 100 to 200 yards into Indian territory in the Mendhar sector.

The deadly episode comes barely two days after a heavy exchange of gunfire across the LoC in the Haji Peer sector of Uri, with Pakistan saying that Indian troops had first attacked an army post in a raid across the frontier, killing one soldier and injuring another on Sunday – allegations that New Delhi has denied.  

The fatalities in Poonch today have been identified as Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, and the army said that the two injured soldiers had been airlifted by helicopter to the command hospital in Udhampur.

Media reports quoting army authorities said that the body of one slain soldier had been badly mutilated.

The northern command termed the attack as a significant escalation in the “continuing series of cease fire violations and infiltration attempts supported by the Pakistan army.”

 “A group of their (Pakistani) regular soldiers intruded across the Line of Control in the Mendhar sector on January 8,” it said.

“Having taken advantage of thick fog and mist in the forested area, the Pakistani troops were moving towards our posts when an alert area domination patrol spotted and engaged the intruders,” it said.

“The fire fight between Pakistan and our troops continued for approximately half an hour after which the intruders retreated towards their side of the LoC. Two soldiers, Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, laid down their lives while fighting the Pakistani troops,” it said without giving any further details.

Pak Army Denies Cross LoC Attack

Pakistan Army tonight rejected the Indian charge that it had launched an “unprovoked” attack across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir and killed two Indian soldiers.

“We deny the Indian allegation of unprovoked firing,” a military spokesman said in a brief reaction carried by news agencies.

The Indian account was “propaganda” to divert the attention of the world from Sunday’s raid on a Pakistani post, he said.

Earlier, the Indian Defence Ministry termed the killing of two of its soldiers by Pakistan Army as a “provocative action” and said the matter will be taken up with Islamabad.

“This is yet another grave provocation by the Pakistan army which is being taken up sternly through official channels, the statement said.

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