2 explosives-laden drones rock Jammu airport; 2 injured

2 explosives-laden drones crash into IAF station at Jammu airport; 2 injured

The blasts were caused after two explosives-laden drones crashed at the IAF-controlled airport

Security personnel patrol after two low intensity explosions reported in the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station in the early hours of Sunday. Credit: PTI Photo

In the first case of the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by militants to target a security installation in Jammu and Kashmir, two explosives-laden drones crashed into the Indian Air Force (IAF) station at Jammu airport damaging the roof of a building during the early morning hours on Sunday.

Officials said the first blast took place at around 1.40 am and the second, weaker in intensity, minutes later in which two IAF personnel received minor injuries. This was the first incident of a drone attack in J&K, a situation long feared by the defence and security establishment.

Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh said the attack at the IAF station in Jammu’s high-security Satwari area is a terror attack. “Police and other agencies were working together with IAF officials to unravel the plan behind the attack,” he said and added a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team was also at the spot.

Read | Jammu explosions: Probe on, Rajnath speaks to IAF Vice Chief

As the aerial distance from the Jammu airport to the international border (IB) is approximately 14 kms, it was not immediately known where the drones had taken off. Officials said investigations were on to ascertain the flight path of the drones.

Just hours later another major terror strike was averted by the security forces when a militant was arrested along with a 6 kg improvised explosive device (IED).

“The arrested person was tasked with triggering the IED in a crowded place and is being interrogated. More suspects are likely to be picked up in this case,” the police chief said.

Earlier, the IAF tweeted: “Two low intensity explosions were reported early Sunday morning in the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station. One caused minor damage to the roof of a building while the other exploded in an open area.”

“There was no damage to any equipment. Investigation is in progress along with civil agencies,” it added.

A senior officer involved in the investigation of the drone attack said the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit is likely behind the attack. “The terror outfit may have received support from another entity as the attack could not happen without the active involvement of the Pakistani Army, or ISI,” he said.

“No remnants of the drone were found at the blast site as only splinters and remnants of explosives used in the blast have been recovered as of yet,” he said and added the NIA is likely to take over the case.

On May 14, the BSF had detected weapons dropped by a suspected Pakistan drone in Jammu. On June 20 last year, the BSF even shot down one such drone. Reports said patrolling has been strengthened near sensitive areas across J&K and neighbouring Punjab state to thwart any such attacks. 

(With inputs from PTI)

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox