India said on Thursday it carried out “surgical strikes” along its de-facto border with Pakistan, inflicting heavy damage on seven “launchpads” militants were preparing to use to cross over into the country.
Here is how the operation was carried out:
1) Army sources said seven “launchpads” or temporary bases used by militants – located up to 3km across the Line of Control -- were targeted after a week of surveillance.
2) The operation began around midnight on Wednesday and ended around 4.30am on Thursday, the sources said.
3) Paratroopers from the Udhampur-based Northern Command carried out the operation. They were airdropped at the LoC, from where they crossed over to the other side.
4) “Significant casualties have been caused to these terrorists and those who are trying to support them,” Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, director general of military operations, told a news conference in Delhi. “The operations aimed at neutralising the terrorists have since ceased.”
5) The army picked its targets for the surgical strikes after carrying out 24X7 surveillance of the terrorist launchpads. Singh said the strikes were launched based on “very specific and credible information that some terrorist units had positioned themselves ... with an aim to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes”.
6) The Special Forces teams involved in the operation had been rehearsing their assault plan for more than a week. All forces along the LoC and the Indian Air Force were placed in the highest state of alert.
7) The announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s warning that those responsible “would not go unpunished” for a September 18 attack on an Indian army base at Uri, near the LoC, that killed 18 soldiers. India has been stepping up pressure on Pakistan, seeking to isolate it globally at a diplomatic level.
8) The top spokesperson for the Pakistani military slammed the Indian account of its action as “totally baseless and completely a lie”.
9) US national security adviser Susan Rice spoke with her Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, before news of the cross-border operation broke, the White House said.
10) An Indian Army officer in Kashmir said there had been shelling from the Pakistani side of the border into the Nowgam district, near the Line of Control, and the exchange of fire continued during the day.
With inputs from agencies