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Soldier dies in encounter near LoC, militants mutilate body before fleeing

india Updated: Oct 29, 2016 07:34 IST
HT Correspondents

In this file photograph, BSF soldiers patrol along a border fence at an outpost along the Line of Control (LOC) between India-Pakistan at Abdulian, some 38 kms southwest of Jammu.(AFP File Photo)

An army jawan was killed on Friday and his body mutilated by a group of militants close to the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Macchil sector. The militants fled to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir under the cover of Pakistani fire.

One of the infiltrators was also killed in the gunfight, an army spokesperson said. “In a despicable act, the terrorists mutilated the body of the Indian Army soldier… This act will invite an appropriate response,” the spokesperson said. Sources said the militants, who attacked 12 Indian posts, beheaded the soldier.

The barbarism was a true reflection that pervaded official and non-official organisations across the border, the spokesperson said.

In 2013, Pakistani soldiers crossed the line of control and attacked a patrol party, killing two soldiers and mutilating the bodies. One of the soldiers was also beheaded.

Earlier in the day, the BSF said it had killed 15 Pakistani soldiers in the last one week , a claim dismissed as baseless by the Islamabad that said six civilians died in Indian firing a day ago.

Civilians continue to be in the firing line on the Indian side as well. A woman and a 15-year-old boy were killed when Pakistan targeted Indian posts and villages along the LoC on another day of heavy cross-border shelling.

An army officer and Border Security Force personnel were also injured in Poonch district, but the army and BSF denied that the men were wounded.

Talking to mediapersons, BSF additional director general Arun Kumar said the border guards had killed 15 Pakistani Rangers during the week following the death of constable Gurnam Singh who was shot by a sniper on October 21.

“We lost three BSF jawans and two were injured in the past one week but we have retaliated strongly, killing at least 15 Pakistani Rangers,” Kumar said.

The Pakistan army, however, said the claims were propaganda. “Indian claims of killing any Pakistani soldier at the working boundary is absolutely baseless and untrue,” the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said six people were killed and 22 wounded in Indian firing on Thursday. The foreign office said it summoned Indian deputy high commissioner JP Singh to protest the ceasefire violations.

In Jammu, BSF’s Kumar said the ammunition being used by the other side indicated that the Pakistan army had taken over from the Rangers at the border.

A 50-year-old woman, Asma Bi, was killed when a mortar shell hit her house in Goulad village in Balakote sector of Poonch, police said.

Fifteen-year-old Ajay Kumar was killed in Gigrial in Akhnoor sub-division of Jammu, where four civilians were injured Thursday night.

(With inputs from HTC Delhi, agencies)