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July 15, 1999
Troops secure LoC in Batalik, Kaksar
Just a few hours before the July 16 deadline for withdrawal by Pakistan army is to end, Indian troops have occupied dominating heights along the Line of Control in Batalik, Kaksar and Drass sub-sectors.
However, in the Drass sector, two heights -- Point 5100 and Point 5060 -- were still to be occupied by the Indians.
A defence spokesman said that in Mushkoh valley, Indian troops were moving forward and occupying heights near the LoC.
In reply to a question the spokesman, Col Bikram Singh, said any decision to extend the deadline for troops withdrawal by Pakistan would be taken at higher levels. ''I am not quite aware of it.''
He said the movement of Indian troops towards the LoC was kept deliberately slow since the area was strewn with landmines left by the withdrawing intruders. ''Our soldiers have to be cautious,'' he said.
An Indian soldier lost his foot when he stepped over a mine, he added.
A jawan was killed by sniper fire in Batalik. With this the Indian casualties have gone up to 407 killed, including 24 officers, and 584 wounded. Six personnel are still missing.
Pakistan has lost 696 soldiers including 41 officers.
The spokesman said that at from one of the positions vacated by Pakistani soldiers, Indian troops recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition, including 825 anti-personnel mines.
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