Indian Army weighs fitting reply to LoC beheading. Here are its options

The options: attacks by ground forces on Pak posts, strikes by aircraft, missiles or artillery guns

The army has begun weighing its options to retaliate against Pakistani forces on the Line of Control (LoC), after their troops, employing jihadi extremists, killed and beheaded two Indian soldiers near Poonch on Monday, top generals said.

Business Standard learns the incident took place when an Indian patrol of 8-10 soldiers was checking the border fence, a perilous task involving physically moving along the fence, very close to the LoC, to check that it has not been cut or its electronic sensors damaged.

According to the modus operandi of Pakistani troops on forward LoC posts, the exposed patrol first came under intense fire from automatic weapons, which Pakistani soldiers had stealthily deployed in temporary positions, just across the LoC.

With two Indian jawans injured in the firing, a “border action team (BAT)”, comprising jihadi fighters, darted across the LoC to the border fence. Covered by the Pakistan army’s firing, the jihadis killed the two jawans, beheaded them, and returned to their side of the LoC, bearing the heads as trophies.

The employment of a BAT is a well-rehearsed Pakistani tactic that creates deniability by using jihadis to cross into the Indian side. If any jihadis are killed or captured, the Pakistan army disowns it as an infiltration attempt. Regular soldiers remain on their side of the LoC, firing on Indian posts and patrols to cover the BAT’s move.

A range of retaliatory measures are being weighed by India’s generals, including attacks by ground forces on Pakistani posts, or strikes by aircraft, missiles or massed artillery guns. Read more

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