An anti-infiltration operation launched by the army to flush out militants and suspected Pakistani special troops holed up in north Kashmir’s Keran sector near the Line of Control (LoC) entered its ninth day on Wednesday.
The army claims that 10 to 12 militants were killed in the first three days of the operation that started on September 24 but that fresh infiltration on Tuesday night resulted in fresh encounters.
“It is a massive and desperate infiltration attempt,” the general officer commanding of the army’s 15 Corps, Lt General Gurmit Singh, told reporters, adding that five Indian soldiers were injured in Wednesday’s gunfight.
“From the operation that is going on till now and the strength (of infiltrators) and the multiple points they attempted (to infiltrate), give the indication that definitely there were some special troops (involved). This is quite different from the trend we have seen in the earlier infiltration attempts,” he said.
Rubbishing media reports of militants capturing Indian posts or villages, Singh said: “We are in total control. The reports of our posts being captured by the infiltrators are absurd.”
The army also denied that the militants had occupied a ghost village near the LoC and was using abandoned homes to fire at Indian soldiers.
Asked why the operation is taking so long, Singh said Keran was at a height of nearly 10,000 feet and troops were maneuvering hard terrain and battling unpredictable weather.