Indian Army targets terrorist launch pads in LoC

Indian security forces have been hitting suspected terrorist launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) during the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), officials said on Tuesday. The army claims to have hit launch pads located in Nikial, Rakhchakri, Kotli and Bhimber in PoK over the past few days. Some of these areas are notorious for Border Action Team (BAT) attacks against Indian Army posts and patrols across the Line of Control (LoC).
“Terrorist launchpads have been hit in Nikial, Rakhchakri, Kotli and Bhimber. Kotli, especially, is known for such launchpads,” said one of the officials cited earlier. 

The army top brass believes that Pakistan will attempt to carry out attacks through BAT—comprising Pakistani Special Service Group commandos and terrorists—sniping, planting of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) near Indian patrols, and using infrastructure against it, said officials. Even Pakistan Army facilities that are involved in supporting terrorists have been hit, they said.
The ceasefire violations between the armies of both countries has increased since the February 14 Pulwama terrorist attack which killed over 40 CRPF soldiers. It was especially high on February 26, when the Indian Air Force bombed a terrorist facility in Balakot in Pakistan, and the next day when the Pakistan Air Force made a failed attempt at targeting Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to officials, in the current round of firing, Pakistan has been using 155 mm calibre artillery guns, most likely the M198 Howitzer, besides anti-tank guided missiles. Earlier this month, the Pakistan Army had targeted Indian positions and civilian areas with artillery fire, they said.
On Tuesday, the media wing of the Pakistan armed forces, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), stated that three Pakistani soldiers were killed in firing by Indian forces in Rakhchakri, Rawalakot sector along the LoC. Experts pointed out that Pakistan sharing this development is unusual, because it rarely reveals the number of soldiers it has lost in such firing. 

“We are dominating the LoC by fire assaults to unsettle him (Pakistan), so that he doesn’t resort to terrorist operations, BAT, and use any infrastructure to facilitate terrorist activities,” said another official.
The firing from the Indian side is to also ensure that no space is given to Pakistani troops to carry out sniping against Indian soldiers. It is also being done to prevent any movement aimed at planting IEDs.
Pakistan, on the other hand, has been firing at Indian Army positions and posts along the LoC in Poonch and Krishna Ghati sectors. It is also doing the same in Naushera, Bhimber Gali and Mendhar sectors. On Monday, an inspector of the Border Security Force and a five-year-old girl were among three people killed, while several were injured in the Pakistani firing along the LoC in Poonch.



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