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TNN & Agencies | New Delhi | Sept 29, 2016:: Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads at the LoC on Wednesday night, the DGMO said on Thursday in a press briefing.
Surgical strikes were based on specific intelligence input of terror groups ready to infiltrate into India and carry out terror attacks.
Seven terror launch pads were targeted across the LoC by special forces of the Indian Army during the ‘surgical strike’.
“Significant casualties have been caused in these strikes,” DGMO Lt General Ranbir Singh said adding, “the operation has now ended.”
According to Times Now, 35-40 terrorists and 9 Pak Army men were killed in the strikes.
“The strikes targeted the terrorists and those backing them,” the DGMO said.
“Despite our persistent appeals to Pakistan to not allow territory under its control to be used for terrorist activities, nothing was done,” the DGMO said.
How the operation unfolded
According to sources, the operation began at around mid-night on Wednesday and ended at around 4.30am on Thursday morning .
The terror launch pads targeted were in the range of 2 to 3km from the Line of Control (LoC).
They were under surveillance for over one week.
The operation was a combination of heliborne and ground forces. Special forces of the Army were para-dropped for the operation.
There were no Indian casualties during the strikes.
According to Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations, the Indian operation was carried out in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel & Lipa sectors on Pakistan’s side of the LoC.
Border villages in Punjab evacuated
The Punjab government has ordered the evacuation of villages in a 10-km belt along the border with Pakistan following the surgical strikes.
The Union home ministry has directed the Punjab government to get the border villages evacuated.
Local authorities were using loudspeakers to announce to residents in the border villages to leave their homes and villages and move to safer zones.
The authorities have ordered the closure of schools and other institutions in the border belt.
Punjab’s border districts include Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Abohar and Fazilka.
Informed sources said the Border Security Force+ (BSF) was mobilising its troops and strengthening the security along the border belt.
Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan.
Rajnath Singh speaks to four chief ministers
As part of government’s efforts to take all political parties on board, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed chief ministers of West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab and Bihar and several opposition political leaders about the Army’s surgical strike across the Line of Control.
Soon after the announcement of the surgical strike, Rajnath Singh informed chief ministers Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik, Parkash Singh Badal and Naveen Patnaik about the surgical strikes.
Singh also spoke to former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury and informed them about the military action on terror launch pads, official sources said.
Army informs Pakistan about surgical strikes
Gen Singh said India shared with Pak army details of the surgical strikes which followed “very specific information” that terrorists were positioning themselves in the launch pads along the LoC.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Former PM Manmohan Singh, J&K Governor and J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti have been briefed on the surgical strikes by the Indian Army.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to review the situation along the LoC.
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