Vehicle-ramming a new strategy by militants in Kashmir

Vehicle-ramming a new strategy by militants in Kashmir

In Thursday’s deadly attack, a Scorpio SUV being driven by a local Kashmiri militant Adil Ahmed from Kakpora in Pulwama was said to be carrying 350 kgs of explosives. PTI photo

After suffering heavy causalities at the hands of security forces in the last two years, it seems militants have changed their tactics and today’s (Thursday) vehicle-ramming assaults in which 44 CRPF personnel were killed, could become a new norm.

The attack was the second such attack in the history of Kashmir insurgency. On October 1, 2001, Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit carried out a similar attack on Jammu and Kashmir State Legislative Assembly complex in Srinagar using a Sumo loaded with explosives, ramming it into the main gate with three fidayeen (suicide) bombers. 38 people and three fidayeen were killed in that attack.
 
In Thursday’s deadly attack, a Scorpio SUV being driven by a local Kashmiri militant Adil Ahmed from Kakpora in Pulwama was said to be carrying 350 kgs of explosives.  The return of IED blasts in Kashmir after a hiatus of few years was first noticed in north Kashmir’s Sopore last January when four policemen were killed in an attack. The incident had forced the Jammu and Kashmir police to work out a strategy to deal with IED blasts. 
 
“Taking advantage of civilian unrest in 2016, militants managed to recruit more local boys from south Kashmir and also set up strong network as security forces were not able to carry out any operations for almost six months. However, after elimination of nearly 470 ultras, including, top commanders, in last two years, the militant handlers across the border are desperate to boost the morale of their cadres,” a senior police officer involved in counter-insurgency operations told DH.
 
He said fidayeen and IED attacks have been the strategies adopted by militant handlers across the border to inflict more causalities on security forces and create news. “Jaish-e-Mohammad terror outfit, which has been assigned the job of carrying out fidayeen and IED attacks, is desperate to set up its networks across the Kashmir” the officer revealed.
 
“Today’s (Thursday) attack has triggered a concern among security agencies. They apprehend that few experts from across the border may have crossed over recently and joined the militants here to revitalize and use the deadly technique of car bomb blasts,” the officer said.
 
After Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashker-e-Toiba received major setbacks at the hands of security forces in the last two years, Jaish took a frontal role in carrying out strikes on police and army. 
 
“There is possibility of more fidayeen and car-ram attacks in coming months as local recruitment into militancy continues. Also, today’s blast must have boosted the morale of the militant handlers and they will try repeat such attacks in future,” sources revealed.

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