Army Major, soldier killed in blast in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowshera
An Army major and a soldier were killed while two other soldiers were injured in an IED blast, suspected to have been planted by Pakistani terrorists, along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district on Friday.
Two Indian army personnel, including a Major, were killed on Friday in the deadliest attack along the Line of Control with Pakistan in nearly three months.
The attack came even as the Pakistani establishment signalled it was open to peace talks, though people in the Indian defence establishment – the army chief being the most recent – have seen such attempts as being hollow.
A spokesperson did not confirm the identities of the casualties, but according to multiple officials in the army and intelligence agencies, the attack involved two explosions and the Major was killed in the second one when he went to rescue a soldier hit by the first blast.
“Today (Friday) at about 3pm, an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion took place near LoC in Nowshera Sector in which an army officer and a soldier got grievously injured. Immediate resuscitation and medical aid was provided to them. However, they succumbed to their injuries,” said Lt Col Devender Anand, defence spokesperson.
Three other soldiers were injured by the blast.
An army porter was also killed by Pakistani snipers in the same district but during a separate incident.
While officials did not give details of the identity of the attackers, such incidents near the LoC routinely involve a specialised Pakistani squad called the Border Action Team (BAT), which is believed to comprise Pakistani army regulars as well as militants.
Earlier this week, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan accused India of rejecting its peace offer. “India was offered to take one step towards and we shall take two. But India rejected Pakistan’s offer for talks several times,” he told Turkish news agency TRT World.
On Thursday, army chief General Bipin Rawat there has been little change in the Pakistani military’s approach. “Pakistan has been making a lot of noise about better relations with India but on the ground we do not see any difference,” he said.
According to officials in the intelligence, who asked not to be named, some of the other soldiers injured were in a critical condition.
Referring to the death of the porter, the spokesperson said the attack took place in Sunderbani sector. “Army porter Hemraj was shot at and grievously injured. The individual was provided immediate resuscitation and medical aid. He, however, also later succumbed to the gunshot wounds. The Army authorities have promised all possible assistance to the family of martyred army porter,” Lt Col Anand added.
The porter was carrying supplies for the army posts on the LoC in Laam area when he was hit, according to officials in Jammu who did not want to be named.
On October 21, three soldiers of Jammu and Kashmir light infantry regiment and two heavily-armed infiltrators, believed to be members of BAT, were killed in Sunderbani sector.
On September 19, roughly a month after Khan took over as Prime Minister, a jawan of the Border Security Force was dragged over to Pakistani territory and killed, with his body bearing signs of mutilation.