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An update on Kargil situation from the Ministry of Defense

May 29, 1999
New Delhi

As a result of our relentless operations during the last 24 hours, the Indian Armed forces have evicted the Pakistani regular troops and the intruders from two positions in Batalik sector, one key feature in Drass sector and cleared them from a number of isolated positions in the Mashkoh valley. These positions were pounded by our air force and artillery before ground troops assaulted them. Reports have come in through intelligence agencies of mercenary casualties mounting to 300 dead and more than 150 wounded.

Direct involvement of Pakistan army in the intrusions in Kargil sector were proved beyond doubt with the recovery of an official Pakistan army document - an identity card belonging to Sepoy Abdul Ayub, a soldier of 4 Northern light infantry from one of the intruded positions which was cleared by ground troops during the night of 28 May 1999. Also recovered were  his rucksack and personal weapon, an AK 47 rifle. One dead body of a Pakistan Army soldier has also been recovered in these Operations. The body will be handed over to Pakistan in due course as per usual procedures.

As actions by ground troops continue in Kargil sector, the area occupied by the intruders is shrinking as they are thrown off from one height after another. From an initial ingress which could have posed a threat to vital communications in this sector, the intruders have now been confined to restricted areas which are being squeezed further through determined clearing operations supported ably by air strikes and incessant artillery bombardments.

At many places the cohesion of these groups of intruders has been shattered and they are operating in small isolated pockets. Mopping up actions will be commenced shortly as part of deliberate clearing operations of these pockets.

In addition, Pakistan forces launched three attacks in Rajouri sector which were repulsed by our troops. The attackers suffered at least three killed and many wounded in these foiled attacks.

Highly reliable intelligence sources have reported that 15 to 20 bodies of Pakistan Army soldiers are being brought to Skardu everyday and as of 27 May 1999 Pakistan army casualties were given out as 90 killed and an unspecified number of wounded. These reports are borne out by intelligence inputs collated from nearer Rawalpindi which speak of 125 Pakistan army soldiers having been killed so far in Kargil.

Fresh inputs from highly reliable sources have also detailed the strength of Pakistan Army soldiers including Special Service Group personnel in at least 4 of the intruded positions.

Some additional concentration of troops and guns are being carried out along the Line of Control by Pakistan, with major accertains opposite Kargil sector. These include movements of  additional artillery and infantry units and beefing up of the air force resources at Skardu. Significant deployments of air defense radar's and air defense missile units have been carried out in the Skardu region. It goes without saying that these Stinger missiles are also deployed in the intruded positions.

Certain inputs are indicative of Pakistan Army's defensive formations along the international  border having been ordered to move to their operational areas or being placed on alert. These are probably precautionary defensive measures. Further reports are awaited.

Attempts continue to be made by Pakistan Army to push in foreign mercenaries and regular soldiers to reinforce the intruders and give a fillip to the breaking morale of these foreign mercenaries. Pakistan has also concentrated a number of foreign militant in other areas along the line of Control in  a bid to draw  our attention away from the situation in Kargil. A very high state of alert is being maintained by our troops along the Line of Control to foil any such bid.

The Indian Armed forces are determined to completely eliminate these intrusions and all efforts are being made to achieve this aim.