5 Pakistani soldiers among those killed in surgical strikes: News Channel

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) At least five Pakistani soldiers and an unspecified number of militants were killed in India’s surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control, CNN News18 news channel said on Wednesday quoting disclosures by a senior Pakistani police official.

Nearly a week after India said it had carried out the strikes, the TV news channel claimed that a senior police official in Pakistan-held Kashmir, under the impression that he was speaking to his superior, confirmed every single claim made by the Indian Army to its Investigations Editor Manoj Gupta over a phone call.

Ghulam Akbar, Superintendent of Police (Special Branch) of the Mirpur Range, is heard in the recording admitting that the strikes had indeed taken place at many sectors in the early hours of September 29.

During the call with Gupta, he clearly stated that the Pakistan Army was caught unawares by the Indian attack and lost five of its soldiers — CNN News18 said it has their names — and that the bodies of unknown number of terrorists were quickly removed by the Pakistani military later.

CNN-News18’s Gupta called Akbar pretending to be ‘IG Mushtaq’ and sought details about the casualties of that night.

In response, Akbar painted a true picture of the areas that he personally knew were under attack that night — Samana in Bhimber, Hazira in Poonch, Dudhniyal in Neelam and Kayani in Hathian Bala — and said the Pakistan Army had cordoned off all these areas immediately after the Indian Army’s strikes.

The SP also said that the Pakistan Army put the bodies in ambulances and took them away, adding that many have been buried in villages and that his personnel were evaluating the coffin boxes.

Akbar’s statement also corroborated what Indian Director General of Military Operations Lt General Ranbir Singh had said during his press conference on September 29 where he announced that India had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan-held Kashmir, destroyed terror launch pads and inflicted heavy casualties on the militants, the TV news channel claimed.

India has not officially announced how many militants were killed in the strikes, only saying it managed to neutralise a “significant” number of terrorists. However, Islamabad has disputed the Indian claim of surgical strikes, and said it lost two soldiers in cross-border firing by Indian troops that night.

“Sir, that was night… you can say roughly 3-4 hours… between 2 a.m. and 4 or 5a.m… the attack continued between that time,” Akbar told CNN-News18, even confirming the time of the strike.

“There were attacks on separate places… several places were attacked… they also met resistance,” he was cited by the news channel as saying.



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