India said Thursday its military launched “surgical strikes” on the Pakistani side of the de-facto border in Kashmir, inflicting “significant casualties” on militants as well as “those who are trying to support them.” Pakistan denied any such strike took place, but said two of its soldiers were killed in cross-border shelling.
The escalation in tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals is the culmination of 10 days of pressure—from politicians, the public, and the media—on the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retaliate against Pakistan after militants struck an army base in Uri, in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing 18 soldiers. India accuses Pakistan of supporting the militants in Kashmir with money, training, and weapons, but Islamabad says it provides them only moral support.
At a news briefing in New Delhi on Thursday, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, the director general of military operations, said the strikes overnight were carried out “based on very specific and credible information … that some terrorist teams had positioned itself along the line of control.” That’s a reference to the de-facto border between the two countries in Kashmir.
“During the counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who were trying to support them,” he said. “The operations have since ceased.”