Srinagar: At least 35 Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in retaliatory firing and shelling in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, Defence sources said. Along with that, five Pakistani Army men were killed in the firing.
The sources said that Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian civilian and military facilities on the LoC in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district.
"In unprovoked Pakistan shelling and firing, two Army soldiers and a civilian were killed. Three others, including two soldiers and a civilian were injured. The injured have been shifted to a hospital," the sources added.
"In retaliatory firing, 35 terrorists were killed when seven launch pads were targetted by the Indian Army across the LoC," sources added.
Reports from the areas said the heavy firing exchanges were still continuing between the armed forces of both sides after starting of in the intevening night of October 19-20.
Reports during the day said the Indian Army destroyed four terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), killing at least four Pakistani soldiers, in a counter-attack launched against the ceasefire violation that killed two soldiers and a civilian in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said here.
Pakistani Army posts were also hit in the artillery gun attack launched by Indian Army that has resulted in more injuries on the enemy's side. The Army source said the attacks upon the terror launch pads were in retaliation to the support provided by Pakistan Army to push terrorists into Indian territory. Army has used artillery guns to target the terrorist camps.
The previous reports quoting sources said that four terror launch pads were located in Neelam Valley opposite the Tangdhar sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. There have been reports of several more injuries too, apart from four to five Pakistani soldiers that were killed in the artillery gun attack.
The developments came a day before Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat are slated to visit Ladakh for opening a strategic bridge near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China along the Leh-Karakoram road.
Army sources said the unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Tangdhar sector, which was an attempt to push in terrorists into India under covering fire, was reported on the intervening night of 19 and 20 October.
"As a result, calibrated escalation of area weapons was undertaken by the Indian side in which terrorist launch pads, Pakistani Army posts giving incidental protection to these launch pads and certain gun positions were hit," said sources.
Civilian areas in Ghundhishat village in Tangdhar were also hit by the Pakistan Army's artillery firing on Saturday night. The deceased Indian civilian has been identified as Mohammed Sadiq, 55. The three injured civilians have been identified as Mohammed Maqbool, 70, Mohammed Shafi, 50, and Yusuf Hamid, 22.
Rajnath Singh and General Rawat will visit Northeastern Ladakh on Monday to inaugurate a strategically located bridge at the fag end of the newly-constructed all-weather motorable road linking Darbuk in Leh with Daulat Beg Oldi near the Karakoram Pass near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. The bridge has been named after a highly-decorated soldier of the Indian Army, Colonel Chewang Rinchen, who belonged to Ladakh.
Ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir have been at an all-time high in the past five years in 2019, as had been reported by IANS earlier.
The total number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan till October 2019 have crossed the 2,300 mark. In the entire calendar year of 2018, the total number of ceasefire violations had been recorded at 1,629.