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Army clarifies no infiltrators killed in encounter after Uri attack

UriTerrorAttack Updated: Sep 28, 2016 12:24 IST
Uri gunfight

A soldier lifts an iron barricade to allow a vehicle to drive out of a military base at Braripora, near the de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan.(AP File Photo)

The army has denied killing 10 infiltrators along the LoC with Pakistan last week. The reported encounter was billed in media reports as an Indian strike-back after a militant attack in Uri left 18 soldiers dead.

Though there was no official statement on the two “encounters” on the LoC, including one at Uri, army sources described the media reports as “a flight of imagination”.

“At no point of time did the army say that 10 terrorists were killed. We simply said there was cross-border firing at two places on the LoC, including Uri,” a source at the Delhi-based army headquarters said.

“We don’t know from where the media got these reports quoting unnamed intelligence officials. All TV channel reporters flashed the report of 10 militants having been killed. There was chaos. When we did nothing, how can we say anything,” the source said.

The Udhampur-based Northern Command, which is quick to break news of encounters in the restive state, was mum on the issue when HT approached it for confirmation.

Read | India hands Uri proof to Pakistan; Modi to review trade ties

A Northern Command officer asked HT to mail queries via “proper channel” to defence spokespersons.

“In the first place, we (the Northern Command) never said that 10 terrorists were killed. When we didn’t say so, why should we deny anything,” an officer said on the condition of anonymity.

The militant attack at the Uri army camp had sparked public anger across the country with calls for a swift military retaliation against militants based in PoK. A senior

BJP leader had called for a jaw-for-a-tooth action while Union home minister Rajnath Singh described Pakistan as a “terrorist state” for supporting anti-India groups.

One media report said the militants were killed in a cross-border “surgical strike” by army commandoes.

Former J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah put out several tweets after the media reports.

“This has to be the first-of-its-kind surgical strike where the striker isn’t ready to claim glory and the target doesn’t know it was hit (sic),” he tweeted.

“So it seems our special forces crossed the LoC, destroyed some terrorist training camps & came back unscathed. Pray tell why is Pak silent? (sic)” he said in another tweet.

Read | Pakistan defence minister says Uri attack was ‘self-generated’ by India