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Marking a radical departure from the past in its response to cross-border terrorism, India Thursday announced that its Army had carried out “surgical strikes” in the early hours of the day to destroy seven launch pads along the Line of Control where teams of terrorists had positioned themselves. The public announcement by the Indian Army also signaled rapid deterioration in New Delhi’s ties with Islamabad in the wake of the September 18 Uri attack which left 18 soldiers dead, and which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi promise that it would not go unpunished.
In a statement, the Pakistan Army said two of its soldiers had been killed in firing “on the LoC in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors. Exchange of fire which started at 0230 hrs after midnight continued till 0800 hrs”. Lt General Ranbir Singh, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), told reporters in New Delhi: “The operations were focused on ensuring that these terrorists do not succeed in their design to cause destruction and endanger the lives of our citizens.” The operation, which commenced past midnight, was successfully completed by 4.30 am. But the Special Forces soldiers had been positioned into the forward bases along the LoC by helicopters around 2 pm Wednesday.