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July 12, 1999
Death marches on in Drass, Batalik
Twelve Pakistani soldiers were killed and many wounded as intermittent shelling continued in Batalik and Drass sectors during the past 24 hours, even as the intruders started withdrawing from Mushkoh and Kaksar areas.
Seven Indian soldiers were also killed. Six were wounded.
Thus, the total Indian casualties in Operation Vijay has gone up to 398 killed and 578 wounded. The dead include 23 officers, 16 junior commissioned officers and 359 of other ranks.
At least 691 Pakistani soldiers, including 30 officers, are believed killed.
A defence spokesman said in Delhi that the withdrawal from Drass and Batalik was only a ''formality.'' Ninety nine per cent of Batalik was already under Indian control and only two heights, close to the Line of Control, remained with infiltrators in Drass.
There was increased Pakistani air activity in some areas across. The Indian Air Force did not carry any air attacks during the past 24 hours. However, air reconnaissance missions were undertaken, he said.
''They (Pakistanis) have been scrambling lately at the drop of a hat,'' an IAF spokesman said.
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