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June 29, 1999
Indian troops capture point 4700 in Dras
Indian troops recaptured another strategically important height, point 4700, in Dras sector after a night-long fierce gunbattle which claimed the lives of 45 Pakistani intruders and 20 Indian soldiers, including some officers. Official sources said it took several days' planning to launch the massive offensive to recapture point 4700 height, few km northeast of Tiger Hills in Dras sector and catch the enemy by surprise.
Army spokesman Col Bikram Singh said the attacks on the positions held by the infiltrators, west of the Tololing ridge, were launched last night and as per last reports from troops in contact, two enemy positions were reclaimed and operations were on to evict the enemy.
''From the modus operandi of the enemy evinced in these operations, it is proved beyond doubt that Pakistan army soldiers and militants are fighting in concert and as a composite force." He said the softening up of other enemy positions both in Batalik and dras Sectors continued in the last 24 hours.
The Indian army effectively stopped another animal transport column of the Pakistan army from infiltrating into Indian territory to replenish enemy positions in Dras sector. Col Singh said there were 30 mules with 15 personnel in this column. A similar animal column had been effectively engaged by artillery guns a few days ago. He said an animal column of even 30 mules could carry a significant of arms and ammunition.
Replying to questions, Col Singh said the situation in the Siachen area was totally stable. He denied that the area from which Indian troops had evicted Pakistani soldiers on Sunday-Monday was Chorbat La. He said Chorbat La was always in Indian control.
Regarding the infiltration in the south Siachen area, he said the Pakistanis had made similar moves in Rajouri area in May which had been repulsed. Asked whether the infiltrators had scope for making a 'tactical retreat', he said although Indian troops had tried their best to cut off all the sustenance routes, in view of the terrain there was a possibility that they could sneak back across the Line of Control.
Group captain D N Ganesh, joint director of operations, said army units in the field had confirmed that the air strikes by night in Batalik sector had been extremely effective. Air attacks were also carried out in Dras sector and Mushkoh valley. ''The bottom line remains target acquisition, as the targets are very difficult to spot. In all cases where the target has been spotted, a high success rate has always resulted, irrespective of the aircraft or weapon used'', he added.
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