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Army building defences to shield troops

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Indian army coveres Kargil-Drass border with strong defences. A file photo

KARGIL (PTI): Ten years down the line after Pakistani Army regulars intruded and captured several peaks, the Indian Army is building strong defences to protect its troops in the Kargil-Drass sector from being hit by enemy artillery shells and heavy weapon fire at the LoC.

"In order to strengthen our defences on ground and protect our soldiers from enemy fire, we have built strong defences covered from all the sides, which can keep away enemy fire from our troops," a senior army officer at one of the forward bases on the LoC told PTI here.

"The newly-built defences are fully covered from both sides with two thick parallel-running stone walls, thick overhead protection which can bear any kind of fire from the enemy," the officer said.

The idea for building these new defences came up after the army realised that the stone walls at posts facing the enemy directly and at close distances were not effective in providing shelter against shells fired in the 'air-burst' mode as the splinters were causing damage to the troops.

"Now even artillery shells fired in the air-burst mode would prove to be ineffective as our soldiers would be fully covered from all sides," the officer said.

The incursion by Pakistani Army regulars into Kargil led to a confrontation between the two countries and nearly 475 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the war. On July 5, 1999, the Indian Army recaptured the formidable 5,062-m-high Tiger Hill from Pakistani Army regulars in Operation Vijay.

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