In­dia re­turns Pak­istani fire, kills 7 Rangers, 1 ter­ror­ist

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In­dia’s Border Se­cu­rity Force (BSF) said on Fri­day that it killed seven Pak­istani Rangers. and a ter­ror­ist in re­tal­ia­tory fir­ing. The killings come af­ter a sniper at­tack by the Pak­istani forces at Hi­rana­gar in Kathua district of Jammu had in­jured an In­dian trooper in the morn­ing. Af­ter the Rangers in­jured BSF jawan Gur­nam Singh in sniper fire and also tried to block at­tempts by his col­leagues to evac­u­ate him to safety, BSF launched an ag­gres­sive re­tal­i­a­tion marked by in­ter­mit­tent small arms and “area weapons” fire. “We had to re­spond when they tried to pre­vent our ef­forts to res­cue our in­jured jawan,” BSF ad­di­tional di­rec­tor-gen­eral Arun Kumar told Times of In­dia. The death of the seven Pak­istan Rangers, which comes af­ter the Septem­ber 29 sur­gi­cal strikes on ter­ror launch­pads in Pak­istanoc­cu­pied Kash­mir, may de­lay the prospect of de-es­ca­la­tion of ten­sion be­tween the neigh­bours. The killing of the Rangers was part of a larger drive to pre­vent in­fil­tra­tion. This has seen the Army and para­mil­i­tary troop­ers foil de­ter­mined ef­forts by the Pak­istan Army to help ter­ror­ists cross over to In­dia. The BSF’s re­sponse was part of the Modi gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to raise the cost for Pak­istan for its con­tin­u­ing use of ter­ror­ism to hurt In­dia.

The BSF said that the fa­tal­i­ties suf­fered by the Rangers were con­firmed by the Pak­istani me­dia, with a news re­port quot­ing a source list­ing the num­ber of dead Pak­istani Rangers per­son­nel as five. BSF’s said that Gur­nam and other BSF jawans were tar­geted be­cause they had re­sponded ef­fec­tively to foil an at­tempt , cap­tured by ther­mal im­agers, to push ter­ror­ists into In­dia on the in­ter­ven­ing night of Oc­to­ber 19 and 20 in the same area of Hi­rana­gar.

May de­lay the prospect of deesca­la­tion of ten­sion be­tween the neigh­bours. The killing of the Rangers was part of a larger drive to pre­vent in­fil­tra­tion.

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