2019-like suicide attack averted in Kashmir’s Pulwama

2019-like suicide attack averted in Kashmir’s Pulwama

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A major tragedy was averted after security forces recovered and defused a 20-kg improvised explosive device (IED) from a car in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday morning.

Police said the IED was recovered by a joint team of forces, including 44-Rashtriya Rifles and J&K police, after the vehicle, a white Hyundai Santro car, with a fake registration number, was signalled to stop at a checkpoint, but it tried to accelerate and go through the barricade.

“At least 40 to 45 kgs of explosive material was fitted in private vehicle jointly by Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorists in a bid to target security forces. Timely action of security forces averted major tragedy,” Inspector General Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters.

“Our men stopped the suicide attacker at two checkpoints and fired warning shots at both sites. The attacker jumped both checkpoints and left behind the vehicle late night yesterday,” the IGP said.

He said that with the first light of the day, the security forces found that the vehicle was suspicious and that the Bomb Disposal Squad was instantly called. “After preliminary investigations, we found that the vehicle was laden with at least 40 to 45 kgs of explosive material which include ammonium nitrate, RDX and other material. Earlier, we thought it must be around 10 to 15 kgs,” the IGP said.

He said a militant identified as Adil who works for the Hizbul and the Jaish and two other militants of these outfits are behind the act. “They were planning the suicide attack on 17th day of Ramazan (May 11), but couldn’t do it due to our intensified operations against militants,” Kumar said.

On February 14 last year, a vehicle being driven by a local Kashmiri fidayeen (suicide) militant Adil Ahmed rammed his vehicle packed with explosives into a paramilitary bus on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in the same district.  In the worst casualties suffered by the security forces in peacetime operations, over 40 CRPF personnel were killed and several others wounded.

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror outfit had claimed responsibility for the attack and released a video clip of the suicide bomber, which it claimed was shot before the young man carried out the audacious attack in Lethpora, about 30 km from here.

There has been a spurt in militant attacks in Kashmir in the last two months with 30 security forces personnel, including a colonel and a major, losing their lives. During the same period, nearly 40 militants, including Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo, have also been shot dead by security forces.

The vehicle, along with the IED, was later destroyed by a bomb disposal squad. The massive explosion damaged several houses in the area, reports said.

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