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DATE=7/15/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251802 TITLE=INDIA/FIGHTING (L-O) BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: INDIA SAYS ITS TROOPS HAVE REACHED THE KASHMIR BORDER IN THREE OF FOUR SECTORS WHERE ISLAMIC FIGHTERS HAD SEIZED MOUNTAIN RIDGES. ANJANA PASRICHA REPORTS FROM NEW DELHI, INDIAN FORCES ARE POISED FOR THE FINAL PUSH TOWARD THE FRONTIER WITH PAKISTAN AS FIGHTERS CONTINUE TO RETREAT FROM THE MOUNTAIN RIDGES. TEXT: OFFICIALS SAY HUNDREDS OF INDIAN SOLDIERS HAVE TAKEN CONTROL OF MOUNTAIN PEAKS ALONG MOST OF THE LINE OF CONTROL THAT DIVIDES KASHMIR BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN. DEFENSE SPOKESMAN COLONEL BIKRAM SINGH SAYS SOLDIERS ARE ALSO WITHDRAWING FROM THE LAST SECTOR WHERE INFILTRATORS REMAIN -- THE MUSKHOH VALLEY. /// INSERT SINGH /// IN BATALIK, KAKSAR AND DRAS SECTORS OUR TROOPS HAVE OCCUPIED POSITIONS ON THE LINE OF CONTROL BARRING TWO POSITIONS IN THE DRAS SECTOR, FROM WHERE THE ENEMY IS ALSO WITHDRAWING. IN THE MUSKHOH VALLEY OUR TROOPS ARE MOVING FORWARD AND TAKING UP POSITIONS CLOSE TO THE LINE OF CONTROL. /// END SINGH /// OFFICIALS SAY PAKISTAN APPEARS TO BE COMPLYING WITH A FRIDAY DEADLINE SET BY NEW DELHI FOR THE FIGHTERS TO LEAVE. BUT INDIAN TROOPS ARE MOVING FORWARD SLOWLY TO OCCUPY THE MOUNTAIN RIDGES BECAUSE OF EXTENSIVE LANDMINES PLANTED BY THE RETREATING FIGHTERS -- AND IT COULD TAKE TWO DAYS TO TAKE FULL CONTROL OF THE AREA THAT FIGHTERS HAD SEIZED. ONE INDIAN SOLDIER WAS KILLED BY A LANDMINE WEDNESDAY. OFFICIALS SAY SCORES OF DEAD BODIES OF ENEMY FIGHTERS ARE BEING RECOVERED FROM THE MOUNTAINSIDES. INDIA HAS SAID IT WILL LAUNCH OPERATIONS FRIDAY TO CLEAR INFILTRATORS REMAINING ON ITS TERRITORY. THERE IS RELATIVE CALM ON THE BATTLEFRONT. HEAVY EXCHANGES OF ARTILLERY SHELLING HAVE STOPPED. AIR AND GROUND STRIKES WERE HALTED THIS WEEK TO ALLOW THE FIGHTERS TO LEAVE. INDIAN OFFICIALS ARE DISMISSING RECENT STATEMENTS BY ISLAMIC MILITANT GROUPS THAT FIGHTERS IN KASHMIR ARE ONLY CHANGING POSITIONS, AND NOT WITHDRAWING. THE OFFICIALS SAY MOST OF THE RETREATING FIGHTERS ARE NOT GUERRILLAS, BUT PAKISTAN ARMY REGULARS. PAKISTAN DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN THE FIGHTING. // OPT // INDIAN OFFICIALS ALSO SAY ISLAMABAD IS REFUSING TO IDENTIFY AND CLAIM THE BODIES OF TWO PAKSITANI OFFICERS FOUND IN THE BATTLEZONE. // END OPT // DURING TWO-MONTH CONFLICT, INDIA HAS LOST 407 SOLDIERS AND SAYS IT HAS KILLED 696 ENEMY FIGHTERS. HUNDREDS ARE WOUNDED ON BOTH SIDES. (SIGNED) NEB/AP/RAE 15-Jul-99 9:30 AM EDT (1330 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .