Two soldiers mutilated: India vows to hit back really hard
Under the cover of heavy mortar fire, a Pakistani special forces team sneaked 250 metres across the Line of Control (LoC) into the Poonch sector and beheaded two Indian security personnel on Monday, officials said.
The Indian Army vowed an "appropriate" response to the "despicable act", which significantly took place a day after Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited some areas along the LoC and promised support to the Kashmiris.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said in Delhi that the mutilation of the bodies was "reprehensible" and an "extreme form of barbarism".
He said the armed forces will react appropriately to the "inhuman act" and their "sacrifice will not go in vain".
The attack was carried out by the Border Action Team (BAT), which comprises the special forces, under the cover of shelling by Pakistani troops in Krishna Ghati Sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. The army issued a statement saying that the bodies of an army soldier and a BSF head constable were mutilated but a senior army officer said that they were beheaded.
The BAT team had set up an ambush to target the patrol party of the Indian soldiers while the Pakistan Army engaged two Indian forward defence locations (FDL) with rockets and mortar bombs, the officials said.
"It was a pre-planned operation of the Pakistan Army.
They had pushed in BAT teams over 250 meters deep inside Indian territory and set up ambushes for a long period to carry out the attack," a senior army official said.
"The Pakistani army posts attacked two FDL posts with rockets and mortar bombs at 0830 hours and engaged them," the official said.
"Their target was a 7 to 8-member patrol party, which had come out of the post," the official said. He said as the posts were engaged, the patrol party men ran here and there.
"Two members of the patrol party, who were left behind, were attacked by the BAT team and killed. Their bodies were badly mutilated," the official said.
"Pakistani Army carried out unprovoked rocket and mortar firing on two forward posts on the Line of Control in Krishna Ghati Sector (in Poonch district) this morning," a defence ministry spokesman said.
"Simultaneously, a BAT (Border Action Team) action was launched on a patrol operating in between the two posts," said a statement issued by the Northern Army Command.
"In an unsoldierly act by the Pakistani Army, the bodies of two of our soldiers in the patrol were mutilated," the spokesman said, adding "Such a despicable act of the Pakistan Army will be appropriately responded".
The soldiers killed were Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh of 22 Sikh Infantry and Head Constable Prem Sagar of 200th Battalion of BSF. A BSF constable Rajinder Singh was injured but is out of danger.
In another major attack on Monday, terrorists shot dead seven people, including five policemen, after dragging them out of a vehicle carrying cash of a bank in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.