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Army begins search for unidentified Pakistani intruders in Jammu & Kashmir


NEW DELHI: The Army on Friday started searching for intruders, who crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday night and fired at an Army post killing an Indian soldier, sources said.

As per Army sources, the five to six intruders - suspected to be Pakistan-backed terrorists - were "allowed" to cross the LoC into the Indian side of the border in the Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district so that they could be "trapped".

Officials said Sepoy Rahul Bhairu Sulagekar (21), who sustained gunshot wounds in the attack by them, was shifted to the nearest Medical Aid Centre, where he succumbed to his injuries on Friday morning. "The intruders, who were around half-a-dozen in number, were allowed to cross the LoC after they were seen from a distance.

Our troops engaged with them when they reached around 100 feet near one of our posts. It is not yet clear if there were any casualties on the side of the intruders. A search for the bodies, if any, has been launched in the area," a senior Army officer told IANS.

The officer further said the intruders could also have been Pakistan's Border Action Team (BAT) commandos. "Their identities and motives are being ascertained," he added.

Army sources said there had been two ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the Krishna Ghati sector since Thursday night. "In the first ceasefire violation reported late on Thursday night, the sepoy sustained fatal injuries.

There was a lull in the firing after that. However, Pakistani troops started firing small arms and mortars again at around 11.45 a.m. to which we responded," said another Army officer.

Sepoy Sulagekar belonged to Uchagaon village in the Belgavi district of Karnataka and is survived by his mother Geeta.

"He [Sepoy Sulagekar] was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty," the Army said in a statement.

Sources added that an Indian civilian was also injured in separate ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.