Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Hours after five Indian soldiers were killed along Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday condemned the unprovoked incident.
Giving the details of the incident in the Lok Sabha, Antony said that the attack was carried out by 20 heavily-armed terrorists in Pakistani Army uniform.
The minister added that the Indian Army was fully prepared to take all necessary steps to uphold the sanctity of LoC.
"I assure the house that our Army is fully ready to take all necessary steps to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control," Antony said in a suo moto statement in the Lok Sabha.
According to him, "Five soldiers were martyred and one was injured when a patrol party of the Army comprising one non-commissioned officer and five other ranks were ambushed on our side of the Line of Control in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir early Tuesday morning."
"In the ensuing firing, five Indian soldiers were martyred and one was injured. The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily-armed terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniforms," said Antony.
The minister condemned the incident and said India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan through diplomatic channels.
"We strongly condemn this unprovoked incident. Government of India has lodged strong protest with the Pakistan government through diplomatic channels," Antony said.
He noted that the number of infiltration attempts have doubled this year in comparison to the corresponding period January 01-August 05, 2012.
There have also been 57 ceasefire violations this year, around 80 percent more than the same period last year, he said.
According to Antony, the Indian Army successfully eliminated 19 hardcore terrorists in the recent months of July and Aug along the LOC and in the Jammu and Kashmir hinterland.
The effective counter-infiltration grid on the LOC has ensured that 17 bids were foiled this year, he added.
A sixth Indian soldier was injured in the 1 am attack at Chakan-da-Bagh sector of the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu region.
Hitting out at Antony, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the defence minister`s `Men dressed in Pakistani Army uniform` statement will provide an opportunity to Pakistan to say that state actors were involved in the attack.
"You will have Pakistan state saying something and other agencies doing something else on ground," underlined Jaitley.
Meanwhile, a report said Army Chief General Bikram Singh will visit the attack site tomorrow.
The Pakistani troops reportedly ambushed the six-member Indian patrol, killing a Junior Commissioned Officer and four soldiers.
The attack took place around 400 metres inside Indian territory.
The latest incident comes at a time when the new government in Pakistan is trying to normalise relations with India.
(With IANS inputs)