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Seven guerrillas killed as army calls off Keran operation after 14 days
Tuesday October 8, 2013 7:03 PM, IANS

The Indian Army Tuesday called off its 14-day-long operation in Keran sector of the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir while the army chief, General Bikram Singh, said the attempt had been a desperate infiltration bid and not an intrusion by the guerrillas.

Seven militants have been killed in the operation against the heavily-armed guerrillas (allegedly backed by Pakistan) in Kupwara district, General Bikram Singh said.

"This is not an intrusion, it is a desperate bid for infiltration," the army chief told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Air Force Day Parade at Hindon adjacent to the national capital.

"These terrorists were in a hallah (dry stream). What advantage would they get by sitting in a Nallah? Seven of them have been killed," he said.

Lieutenant General Sanjiv Chachra, who heads the Northern Command that conducted the operation, said it had ended.

"I have given directions to call off the concerted search," he added.

The army commander said the army had killed eight of the guerrillas, whose bodies and weapons had already been displayed before the media.

"It was an infiltration bid and these will continue till the winter sets in. Last night also there has been another infiltration bid."

"We are prepared to meet the challenges and our boys are in good shape. Their morale is high", the top army officer said.

He said all the Indian Army posts on the LoC are intact and dismissed reports that some of posts or any area on the Indian side of had been taken over by the guerrillas.

"Let me assure you, the sanctity of the Line of Control is well maintained," he said.

The army commander said the Pakistani Army always plays a definitive role whenever infiltration attempts are made on the LoC.

"It would be ridiculous to think that this can happen without the support of the Pakistani Army," he asserted.

Answering a question about a previous statement by the army in which it had been said that 15 of the infiltrating guerrillas had been killed in the cordoned area, the army commander said: "Some of the dead bodies might have been dragged back and some of the terrorists involved in this infiltration bid might have been used in other operations."

"It was a desperate infiltration bid since the number of terrorists in the hinterland has gone down."

"Although searches have been called off in the area, we have re-deployed and strengthened our counter-insurgency grid. They might try in other areas next time, but we are quite prepared for the challenge," the army commander said.

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