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Bharatiya soldier killed in Pakistan firing along LoC

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Jammu. The Army on July 22 claimed to have foiled a major infiltration attempt by suspected militants in Akhnoor area of the International Border in Jammu. Even as a soldier died in the operation, the Border Security Force shot dead an intruder on the border in Heeranagar belt of Kathua district.

Official sources quoting an Army official said that the Indian troops intercepted a group of infiltrating militants on the IB in Akhnoor sector, 50 km from Jammu.

One soldier was killed when the militants were being repulsed. It was being ascertained whether it was an independent group of militants or if Pakistani regular commandoes were also part of it.

“The operation is still under way. It will take us some time to find out if it was a BAT action, supported by the Pakistani troops,” said an official who is not authorised to speak to the media.

Another bid

Sources said that BSF intercepted another group of infiltrators near Karol Matrayan in Heeranagar belt of Kathua district. One of the intruders was shot dead, while the others escaped back to the Pakistani side. The body of an unarmed person has been reportedly seized by the BSF.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said Pakistan violated ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir 19 times since the new government took over and the Indian side retaliated appropriately in each case, replying to questions in Rajya Sabha. Jaitley’s response came when Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Narendra Modi, before becoming the Prime Minister, used to accuse the then UPA dispensation of being “weak”. Then why the government has “bowed” to the recurring ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Azad asked.

“Our head has not bowed… This government will not let our heads bow,” The minister said during the current year till July 16, there have been 54 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir. Between May 26 and July 17, 19 ceasefire violations took place along the LoC and International Border and in all such cases, there was retaliation by the Indian side, he said.

“All CFVs are taken up with the concerned authorities of Pakistan at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings etc,” he said.

Jaitley recalled that during the first meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif here on May 27, he had underlined the importance of border ceasefire.

“Our Prime Minister further emphasised the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity at the borders and upholding the sanctity of the LoC,” he said about the meeting that took place a day after the new government took over.

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