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Army Chief to review security situation in Poonch

Army Chief to review security situation in Poonch

New Delhi: In the wake of the killing of five soldiers along the Line of Control, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh will Wednesday visit Poonch to review the security situation there.

Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia will speak to his counterpart in Pakistan Maj Gen Asfaque Nadeem to raise the issue of killing of the five Indian soldiers in the cross-LoC attack in Jammu and Kashmir, army officials said here.

After the incident, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talked to Defence Minister A K Antony. The Army Chief had briefed the Defence Minister early in the morning about the incident, they said.

Sources said the Prime Minister was kept informed about the developments since the morning. He spoke to Antony and asked him to ensure that the families of the victims are taken care of.

The Army Chief is scheduled to visit the Division headquarters in Rajouri and the 93 Brigade headquarters to take stock of the security situation there. He is also expected to meet the Commanding Officer and troops of the units whose troops were killed in Pakistan's Border Area Team action, army officials said.

Of the five troops killed today, four belonged to the 21 Bihar regiment while one of them is from the 14 Maratha Light Infantry battalion.

The 21 Bihar unit is on its way out of the area after a tenure of over two years and the 14 Maratha Light Infantry battalion will take over the position from it, officials said.

Army officials said the DGMO will raise with his Pakistani counterpart the issue of killing of Indian soldiers. The DGMOs of the two sides regularly talk to each other on every Wednesday.

The attack has taken place around 30-35 km from the site of last attack in January where one Indian soldier was beheaded and another's body was mutilated.

After the incident in January, the Army Chief had said that India reserved the right to retaliate "at a place and time of our choosing".

Gen Singh has also asked the commanders deployed on the LoC to respond immediately in case of provocations by Pakistan Army and had said that "I expect my commanders to be aggressive in the face of firing".

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