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Confirmed reports say terrorist casualties far more than info we have: Army Chief

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Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said that fatalities in the Indian counterattack to foil terrorists attempting to infiltrate through the Tangdhar sector along the Line of Control, could be much higher than what is currently believed the current information and that Pakistan Army does not want to highlight the damage.

"Confirmed reports tell that casualties to terrorists are far more than the information that we have. As of now, there is kind of radio silence on other side and we are not even able to pick up any mobile communication from across which implies that there have casualties, there has been damage," General Rawat said while speaking to reporters here.

The Indian Army on the intervening night of October 19-October 20 carried out artillery strikes targeting four terror launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, killing 6-10 of their soldiers and a similar number of terrorists, the Army Chief said.

General Bipin Rawat said Pakistani Army does not want to highlight the damage.

"But obviously, the Pakistani Army does not want to highlight this damage, project this damage because...I mean the world will know that there is no action being taken to curtail the acts of terrorism from across the borders. So they are trying to keep it under the wraps," he said.

He said three terrorist camps have been destroyed while the fourth one has been damaged in retaliation by the Indian Army.

"On the basis of reports that we have been getting, six to ten Pakistani soldiers have been killed, three camps have been destroyed and the fourth one has been damaged. A similar number of terrorists have also been killed," the Army Chief said.

The Army Chief said according to the information they currently have, the terrorists were coming closer to the camps in forward areas and noted that in the last one month there were several infiltration attempts in various sectors including Gurez and Keran.

Stressing that Pakistani soldiers were resorting to ceasefire violations to support infiltration of terrorists into India, the Army Chief said, "Last evening an attempt was made in Tangdhar to infiltrate some of them and we retaliated. Pakistan at the same time carried out attack, firing on our posts ... two of our soldiers were killed, one civilian also died."

"Before they could attempt the infiltration it was decided that we target those terrorist camps. Therefore the camps were targeted. We had definitive information. We had the coordinates of where these camps have emerged. In the retaliatory action that our forces have taken, we caused severe damage to terrorist infrastructure across. Terrorist camps opposite Tangdhar and Keran sectors have been destroyed," said General Rawat.

Talking about the Border Action Team (BAT) attacks, the Army Chief said, "This is nothing new. BAT teams supported by SSG have been the norm in the past as well. This the Pakistanis will keep attempting."

"And now especially, the kind of damage that we have caused to them, we will have to maintain a high state of readiness because they will always try and avenge and carry out BAT Action," he said.

The Army Chief warned that any action attempted by Pakistan, the reaction that it will get will be far more superior to what they have experienced so far. He also advised Pakistan to stop perpetrating terrorism in the Indian Territory and to heed the advice of global watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

General Rawat mentioned that the political leadership has been updated about the developments and it fully backed the Army "in action in countering terror in whatever way we wish to do."

The Army Chief mentioned that ever since Article 370 was abrogated from Jammu Kashmir, there were repeated inputs of infiltration by terrorists from across the border to disturb the peace and harmony in the state.

"Gradually things are returning to normalcy in the Valley, but obviously there is somebody who is working behind the scenes at the behest of terrorists and agencies that are some within and some outside country, in Pakistan and PoK, who are trying to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere," he said.

Indian Army on Sunday inflicted heavy damages and casualty on the Pakistan side after two Indian soldiers and a civilian were killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara.

The Indian Army also used artillery guns to target terrorist camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) which have been actively trying to push terrorists into Indian Territory.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 20 2019. 22:55 IST