Intrusion inputs keep Army on toes

Schools in Samba closed as precautionary measure; Pak targets Poonch again

Intrusion inputs keep Army on toesFollowing intelligence inputs of possible infiltration by a group of heavily armed Pakistani militants from across the international border in theSamba sector, the Army has been put on high alert in the garrison town on the Jammu-Pathankot national highway.

As a precautionary measure to pre-empt a possible terror strike, the Army today closed a Kendriya Vidyalaya and an Army school in Samba, said a top Army source. Searches were still on and they were on high alert, he said.

“Agencies intercepted a telephonic conversation between suspected militants and their handlers in the Samba area. We thoroughly checked our target area, including hamlets close to the border, during the day, but found nothing. We are still on with our searches,” said the source.

If intelligence sources were to be believed, the infiltration had to take place on Wednesday night. Consequently, the Army launched search operations since Wednesday night. “We received a tip-off about infiltration by a group of armed militants. Our searches are on in the border area,” said an Army officer.

Meanwhile, Pakistani started shelling forward areas of Balakote in Poonch district this evening. No death or injury was reported on the Indian side so far.

“Pakistani soldiers have been raining 82-mm mortars on Indian positions and civilian areas, particularly Dharati, since 6:15 pm. The Army is retaliating in equal measure,” said an intelligence official. On July 27, suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked Dinanagar in Punjab, killing an SP, three Home Guard jawans and three civilians.

The Jammu-Pathankot highway, dotted by several military installations, had always remained a prime target of Pakistani militants.

On March 20, four Lashkar militants in Army fatigues surfaced at Haria Chak nursery, close to the Indo-Pak border, in Hiranagar sub-sector of Kathua district. They divided themselves into groups of two each.

The first group struck Rajbagh police station on the Jammu-Pathankot highway the same day and killed two CRPF personnel, a policeman and two others. Ten others were injured in the attack.On March 21, the second group tried to storm an Army camp in Samba on the Jammu-Pathankot highway during the wee hours. They were killed in a protracted gun battle that lasted over 11 hours.

Special forces of the Army conducted the operation.The twin attacks left nine people dead, including the four militants.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has started shelling forward areas of Balakote sector in Poonch this evening. “Pakistan has been raining 82 mm mortars on Indian positions and civilian areas since 6.15 PM today. The Army is retaliating in equal measure,” said an Intelligence official.No deaths or injuries on the Indian side have been reported so far.

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