Before Poonch attack, Pak shut border trade post for 13 days

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Thursday, August 08, 2013
Published On: 01:26:37 AM

The site of the attack is hardly half a km from Chakkan Da Bagh, one of the identified routes for cross-LoC trade and travel between the two countries since 2011 and 2006 respectively. At present, while cross-LoC travel takes place only on Monday, the trade is allowed four days a week from Tuesday to Friday.

Sources hinted the attack appeared to be planned in advance as Pakistan had early this month asked for suspension of cross-LoC trade and travel on both the Poonch-Rawalakote and Uri-Muzaffrabad routes for nearly a fortnight. This was unprecedented as in the past, trade would be suspended for much lesser duration.

"We received a letter dated August 1 from the Trade Facilitating Officer, Rawalakote, seeking suspension of both trade and travel through Chakkan Da Bagh from August 6-18 in view of coming Eid-ul-Fitr," said Mohammad Bashir Lone, the custodian of cross-LoC trade at Chakkan Da Bagh. "Earlier also travel and trade on this route used be suspended for a lesser period on account of Eid and Diwali, we asked them to close the road for two-three days only. However, as they insisted in writing for 13 days, we had no option but to agree to their request," he said.

The last time cross-LoC trade took place was on August 2 and travel on August 5. The following night (August 5-6), Pakistani troops along with militants ambushed an Indian army patrol nearby, killing five soldiers.

The killing was the outcome of a specialised operation carried out with precision by Pakistan's Border Action Team (BAT), comprising specially trained Special Service Group commandos, regular troops of 801 Mujahid Regiment and Lashkar-e-Toiba militants. Sources said one of the BAT members who ambushed the Indian patrol was Mohammad Anwar, a Lashkar terrorist who is believed to be involved in the killing of two Indian soldiers and later mutilation of their bodies in Mendhar on January 8.

Giving details, sources said a six-member army party was on area dominance patrol between Cheetah and Begum posts on Indian side of the LoC on the intervening night of August 5-6 when they suddenly came under heavy fire from various directions around 1 am.

Courtesy : Indian Express

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