Jammu : An infiltration bid across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Jammu district was foiled on Sunday but a soldier was killed and two others injured in the operation, the army said. “In an incident near Akhnoor a patrol of the army was targeted by mines and small arms fire by a group of unidentified armed personnel. Our alert troops returned effective fire and the group fled back across the LoC towards a Pakistan army post,” defence spokesman Col. Manish Mehta said.

“Injury/effect on the fleeing men was not immediately known,” he added.

Col Mehta said Sepoy Bhikale Uttam Balu was killed in the ensuing fire fight while two other soldiers suffered splinter injuries and gunshot wounds.

“Injured jawans are under treatment and out of danger. Search of the area yielded Pakistan made mines and other equipment which clearly suggests involvement of Pakistan and terrorists from across the LoC,” he added.

The Jammu-based White Knight (16th) Corps’ commander has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of Sepoy Bhikale, who is survived by his wife and a daughter.

In another incident in the same area, two soldiers of the army’s engineering regiment were injured Sunday in a landmine explosion.

The army also foiled an infiltration bid on the LoC in Bhimber Ghali area of the Poonch district Sunday when a group of guerrillas were prevented from sneaking into the Indian side.

An improvised explosive device (IED) left behind by the guerrillas was later destroyed. Heightened tensions on the border between India and Pakistan have thrown the lives of thousands of civilians living close to the border out of gear. A modicum of normalcy had returned after the signing of a bilateral ceasefire agreement in November 2003.

The agreement held well for some years, but last year frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops both on the LoC and the international border in Jammu and Kashmir again heightened tensions between the two neighbours.

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