A link? Days ago, Army killed 5 Pak infiltrators
The Army said Tuesday's attack was a "likely consequence" of the Pakistan Army's "frustrations" over the "successful elimination" of "19 hardcore terrorists" in the past two months.
There could, however, be a more direct link to an encounter that took place in Kupwara last week, in which five alleged terrorists were killed by Army personnel, according to intelligence sources.
Last week, reports in the Pakistan media said four "Kashmiri men" had been "kidnapped" from the Neelam valley in PoK by Indian Army personnel on July 28. The men were identified as Zafran Ghulam Sarwar, Shazman, Wajid Akbar and Mohammad Faisal. The reports, which described the men as "herb gatherers", alleged that Indian special forces had crossed the border and carried out the "kidnapping".
The Indian Army denied the reports. A few days later, the Army reported a major operation in Kupwara's Hafruda forest in which five alleged terrorists were killed. The alleged terrorists are yet to be identified.
There is now speculation that the Indian troops could have launched a special operation in the Neelam valley, which falls across the Keran sector on the Indian side, and Tuesday's attack may be a retaliation to this. But the Army has claimed the Kupwara encounter took place during an infiltration attempt.
There have been a spate of encounters in Kupwara in the past week in which at least 12 alleged terrorists have been killed.