India said Thursday it carried out “surgical strikes” against militants across the militarized frontier that divides the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan. It was an exchange that escalated tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
CCTV’s Shweta Bajaj reports.
Kashmir: Pakistan reports soldiers killed after Indian strikeIndia said Thursday it carried out "surgical strikes" against militants across the militarized frontier that divides the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan. It was an exchange that escalated tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors. CCTV's Shweta Bajaj reports.
Pakistan dismissed reports that India’s military targeted “terrorist launch pads” inside the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir. Islamabad said instead that two of its soldiers were killed in “unprovoked” firing by India across the border.
India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over control of Kashmir since winning independence from British colonialists in 1947. Most people in the Indian-controlled portion favor independence or a merger with Pakistan.
Tensions, which are always simmering between India and Pakistan, spiked after an attack earlier this month on an Indian military base in Kashmir.
India accused Pakistan of sending militants belonging to the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed group, headquartered in Pakistan, to carry out the attack. Pakistan denied the charge.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been under heavy pressure to respond to the attack on the military base.
Indian officials gave few details about the strikes across the disputed border late Wednesday night.
“Significant casualties were caused to the terrorists and those who support them,” Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, director general of military operations for the Indian Army, told reporters in New Delhi. Singh said the operations were over and India has no plans for more strikes. He said he shared details of the strikes with his Pakistani counterpart.
Indian soldiers traveling on foot crossed the Line of Control into the Pakistani-controlled portion to attack several targets based on intelligence about imminent attacks, said a high-ranking Indian official who would only brief reporters on condition of anonymity.
The anonymous official said the Indian forces killed at least 10 people before retreating back into Indian-controlled territory. The Indian soldiers suffered no losses, he said.
The Pakistani military flatly denied any “surgical strikes” had occurred.
“There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross-border fire initiated and conducted by India,” a Pakistani military statement said.
Pakistani officials said two of their soldiers were killed and nine others were wounded in the exchanges at five different places along the disputed border.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the “unprovoked and naked aggression of Indian forces.”
The Pakistan military said in a statement that it “befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing” — implying it returned fire — along the Kashmir border near the villages of Bhimber, Kel and Lipa.
Story by the Associated Press
Michael Kugelman on India–Pakistan relations
For more on India–Pakistan relations, CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke to Michael Kugelman, the senior associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center.