Poonch / New Delhi: Five Indian soldiers were shot dead and one seriously injured by Pakistani soldiers who crossed the Line of Control in the Poonch area of Jammu and Kashmir at 2 am.
In a strong statement, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said "India cannot be cowed down by such blatant acts of deceit" and urged the government to "take appropriate action." (Read: 'Blatant acts of deceit': Sonia Gandhi's strong statement)
The main opposition party, the BJP, urged the government to rethink plans for talks with Pakistan, expected soon. The opposition demanded a statement on the attack in parliament from Defence Minister AK Antony, which it then rejected for letting Pakistan off the hook.
The Pakistani army has denied any role in today's attack. But the Pakistani deputy envoy to India, Mansoor Ahmed Khan, was summoned by the government which "lodged a strong protest." (Read: No exchange for fire or attack on Indian soldiers, says Pakistan)
"The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily armed terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniforms," said Defence Minister AK Antony in Parliament. (Read full text of AK Antony's statement here)
"When the minister says something so ambiguous like 'people dressed in army uniforms' it gives Pakistan a route of escape," said the BJP'S Arun Jaitley. Narendra Modi, expected to be the party's Prime Ministerial nominee, tweeted: "Dastardly ambush by Pakistan." (Read)
The soldier who survived the attack is in a military hospital. His testimony will be crucial in helping India back claims that the Pakistanis were 400 metres into Indian territory when Indian patrol party was ambushed about 200 kilometres south of Srinagar and just 40 kilometres away from where an Indian soldier was beheaded by the Pakistani army in January, forcing bilateral relations to a grave low. (Track live updates)
Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said recently that India would be "picking up the threads" of peace talks with the new Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In September, Mr Sharif and Dr Manmohan Snigh were expected to meet on the sideline of a UN conference in New York.
The soldiers who were killed in Pak ambush
- Sepoy Raghunandan Prasad (21 Bihar Regiment)
- Sepoy Vijay Kumar Ray (21 Bihar Regiment)
- Naik Prem Nath Singh (21 Bihar Regiment)
- Lance Naik Samhu Sharan Ray (21 Bihar Regiment)
- Naik Mane Kundlik Kerba (14 Maratha Light Infantry)