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India conducted "surgical strikes" on suspected militants in Pakistan-ruled Kashmir

India conducted "surgical strikes" on suspected militants in Pakistan-ruled KashmirIndia said on Thursday it had conducted "surgical strikes" on suspected militants preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-ruled Kashmir, making its first direct military response to an attack on an army base it blames on Pakistan.

The cross-border action inflicted "significant casualties", the Indian army's head of operations told reporters in New Delhi. It was not immediately clear whether they involved any incursion by Indian troops across the Line of Control that runs through disputed Kashmir.

The Pakistani military said no such strike had taken place but that there had been an exchange of firing at the frontier.

The Indian military announcement followed through on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's warning that those responsible "would not go unpunished" for a Sept. 18 attack on an Indian army base at Uri, near the frontier, that killed 18 soldiers.

The strikes also raised the possibility of a military escalation between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan that would wreck a 2003 Kashmir ceasefire.

Lt General Ranbir Singh, the Indian army's director general of military operations, said the strikes were launched on Wednesday based on "very specific and credible information that some terrorist units had positioned themselves to infiltrate".

The strikes had caused "significant casualties", Singh also said, adding he had called his Pakistani counterpart to inform him of the casualties.

Pakistan said two of its soldiers had been killed and nine wounded in an exchange of fire across the de facto border in the Himalayan region.

"There had been cross-border fire initiated and conducted by India, which is an existential phenomenon," the press wing of the Pakistani military said.

"As per rules of engagement same was strongly and befittingly responded by Pakistani troops."
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