Combing ops intensified along LoC
Army troops have increased vigil along the LoC as intelligence reports suggested that a large number of militants are waiting to infiltrate into the Kashmir Valley ahead of winter, official sources said.
They said the soldiers are carrying out combing and search operations through the dense forests in Keran, Macchil, Handwara, Kupwara and Gurez sectors of the Valley which have emerged as favoured infiltration routes for the militants over the past couple of years.
The search operations come two days after four soldiers — three Pakistanis and one Indian — were reportedly killed in rare ceasefire violations along the LoC.
An Indian JCO and three Pakistani soldiers were killed in the first major violation of ceasefire in the Valley this year when troops from the two sides traded heavy gunfire.
The violation took place in the key Keran sector in north Kashmir, which is the major ingress route of militants from across the border and took place on the heels of a big infiltration bid from adjacent Gurez sector.
Defence spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar said there was no fresh firing in Keran sector today but the Army is maintaining vigil to foil any attempts by militants to cross over to this side.
Sources said the ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops were apparently to provide cover to the infiltrating column of militants, who are desperate to reach the Valley before snowfall in view of their depleting cadres.
Several top commanders of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad have been eliminated during encounters with security forces this year.