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July 1, 1999
Ladakh Scouts engaged in fierce fighting in Batalik sector
The Ladakh Scouts recaptured a key position held by Pakistan Army in Batalik sector and consolidated their gains in Dras while the Indian Air Force successfully attacked an enemy supply camp in a shallow valley, 2.5 kilometres west of Tiger Hill this morning.
Overnight, six more Indian soldiers died in the operations in Kargil sector taking the number of those killed to 207. Besides, 389 Indian troops have been injured while nine are missing in action. With seven more being accounted for, the toll among the Pakistani soldiers has gone up to 439.
Army spokesman Colonel Bikram Singh said the Ladakh Scouts, which received a chief of staff commendation for the ongoing operations in Kargil, reclaimed the post in Batalik sector in overnight fighting.
He said the Scouts were now engaged in fierce battles at different positions in Batalik sector as per last reports received from the troops in contact.
In sub sector Haneef, in Turtuk, Indian Army troops killed four Pakistani soldiers when they used artillery fire to engage a group of ten personnel who were moving close to the Line of Control.
Group Captain D N Ganesh, joint director of operations, denied at the briefing that an IAF plane had been shot down, as claimed by the mujahideen, in Turtuk sector.
He said IAF planes struck this morning with very good results at the supply camp, two-and-a -half kilometres west of Tiger Hill which ground forces have been battling to recapture.
The supply camp, in a shallow valley, had been detected by the air force during reconnaissance missions. Field units had said the attacks were successful and this had been subsequently confirmed by the IAF's photo reconnaissance.
Gp Capt Ganesh said yet another supply camp was destroyed at Point 5280 in the Kaksar area. Attacks were also carried out at camps north-east of Tololing and south-west of Kaksar.
Last night, air strikes were conducted on an enemy camp south-west of Kaksar and the bombs were seen hitting the target. Night attacks were also made in the Muntho Dhalo area.
Col Bikram Singh said after the capture of Point 4470, Knoll, Three Pimples and Lone Hill, ground troops were now consolidating the gains.
During mopping up operations, some documents had been found which showed that soldiers of the second battalion of the Northern Light Infantry were there in the area.
It is now clear that troops of 3, 4 and 5 battalions of the NLI were positioned in Dras sector while 2, 6 and 7 were involved in the infiltration in Batalik sector, Col Singh said.
''Reliable inputs reveal that 4 NLI is being relieved by 8 NLI in the pockets of intrusion on account of heavy casualties suffered. 4 NLI has suffered approximately 70 all ranks killed,'' he said.
Col Singh said the morale of the forces and their families had not at all been affected by the large number of casualties in the Kargil conflict.
He said the fighting spirit was very high and a large number of retired army officers, whose sons are fighting in Kargil, had volunteered to rejoin. There had been an overwhelming response from members of the public too, he added.
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