At least seven soldiers of the Indian Army had a close shave from death when at least two mortar shells, fired by the Pakistan Army from across the Line of Control, exploded in the vicinity of an ambush party late on Sunday.
Considering nature of injuries, the injured soldiers were immediately airlifted to a nearby military hospital past midnight. At present, these soldiers were receiving specialised treatment to recoup at the earliest. Official sources claimed all the soldiers were stable in the military hospital.
According to ground reports, “four jawans received splinter injuries while three others had received minor 'bruise' injuries after two mortars exploded nearby”.
Initially, 'unconfirmed' reports late Sunday night had claimed Border Action Team (BAT) of Pakistan army comprising Special Services Group (SSG) commandos' may have targeted one of the forward posts using rocket launcher to cause maximum fatal injuries to the Indian jawans. These reports also claimed the rocket attack was carried out from a close range to maximise the impact.
However, early Monday morning, Defence PRO in Jammu, Lt-Col Devender Anand in a statement said, “Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing of small arms and intense shelling with mortars in Balakote, Mendhar sector around 10.30 p.m on Sunday evening. “Indian army retaliated befittingly”, he added.
Defence PRO also denied reports of BAT attack on one of the forward Indian post in Balakote area of Mendhar. Defence PRO clarified, only four soldiers suffered minor splinter injuries during intense mortar shelling. He said, all the soldiers are safe and under treatment in military hospital.
Meanwhile, fresh intelligence reports have also alerted the local formation commanders about regular activity of SSG commandos across some of the forward posts of Pakistan Army. In the last few days, Indian agencies are observing hectic activity in areas opposite Mendhar sector.
Ground reports also indicated, several forward villages have been vacated by the Pakistan Army to accommodate large number of terrorists across 'activated' launching pads in these villages. Top Indian Army commanders are also keeping a close watch on the hectic activity of Pakistani Army regulars in these forward areas.