Army jawan killed, 2 injured in suspected attack by Pak’s BAT

Army jawan killed, 2 injured in suspected attack by Pak''s BATJAMMU: An army jawan was killed and two of his colleagues were injured in an attack by suspected Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) which set off a mine blast and opened fired on a patrol party along LoC here.

“In an incident near Akhnoor a patrol of the Army was targeted by mines and small arms fire by a group of unidentified armed personnel (possibly a BAT team of Pak) yesterday”, Public Relations officer (PRO), Defense, Jammu said here today.

BAT, which is a mix of Pakistani special forces personnel and terrorists, carried out the brutal attack killing two Indian soldiers in January last year, one of whom was beheaded, and killed five personnel along Line of Control in Poonch sector seven months later.

After yesterday’s attack, our own alert troops returned effective fire and the group fled back across the LoC towards Pakistan Army post, PRO said.

In the ensuing fire fight two soldiers suffered splinter injuries (due to mine blast) and gun shot wounds, while Sepoy Bhikale Uttam Balu was martyred. The PRO said the injured jawans are under treatment and out of danger.

The injured jawans were airlifted for treatment to Military Hospital at Udhampur Northern Command.

“Injury to this effect on the fleeing personnel was not immediately known”, PRO said, adding “Search of the area yielded Pakistan made mines, and other equipment which clearly suggests involvement of Pakistan and terrorists from across the line of control”.

Soon after the attack, there was firing from Pakistan side on forward belt in area triggering panic among the villagers and it concluded late in the evening, police officials said.

General Officer Commanding, White Knight Corps expressed his deepest condolences to the family of Sepoy Bhikale, who is survived by his wife and a daughter.

Search operations were in progress till the last report came in.

“It was possibly an attack by a BAT of Pak. We are investigating”, a senior Army officer told PTI. The incident took place in Nathu Tibba forward post in Jugwan border belt of Akhnoor tehsil of Jammu district, police said.

The deceased Sepoy Bhikale, belonged to 2nd Maratha Light Infantry (MLI) and injured Havaldar Vinod Kumar is of 4-Engineers belonging to Karnataka and Amul Kumar of 2nd Engineers belonging to Kerala.

On May 18 early morning, a group of three infiltrators had entered into this side of LoC and planted an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) near a forward post in Bhimbher Gali belt of Rajouri but alert troops foiled their attack by destroying the IED without any casualty or damage to the property.

On May 10, two militants were killed when they tried to attack a patrol party in a bid to infiltrate into Indian territory along Line of Control (LoC) in Kalsia belt of Poonch district of J&K in which one jawan suffered injuries.

Army officials said the ceasefire violations and firing by Pakistani troops were aimed at helping militants infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir from across the border from the “launching pads” along LoC, where they are waiting to crossover.

There have been three infiltration bids and eight ceasefire violations by terrorists and Pak troops along LoC in J&K in last three weeks.

It may be recalled that major BAT attacks were carried out in 2013.

On August 6, last year, in an audacious and provocative attack, Pakistani troops had entered Indian territory along the Line of Control in the Poonch sector in J-K and ambushed a patrol killing five Indian soldiers.

Pakistani troops on January 8, 2013 had crossed into the Indian territory and ambushed an Army patrol party beheading two jawans Lance Naik Hemraj and Sudhakar at Sarla post along LoC in Poonch.

In 2013, 12 jawans were killed and 41 injured in the highest number of ceasefire violations (149) and firing by Pakistani troops on forwards post, civilian areas and patrolling parties along the Indo-Pak border.–PTI

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