HomeIndian DefenceNIA Examines April Attack Similarities: Poonch, Rajouri see spike in militant action...

NIA Examines April Attack Similarities: Poonch, Rajouri see spike in militant action in last three years

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Over the past three years, the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed a sudden spurt in militant activities, starting with the recovery of sticky bombs in February 2021 in Samba followed by drone attack on Indian Air Force’s Jammu base in June that year, government insiders said.

These activities were followed by infiltration of terrorists using the Pir Panjal Valley and subsequent counter-terror operations by security forces to flush out militants, they said.

In the past too, militants have used the arduous Pir Panjal route to enter Jammu through the Line of Control in Poonch and Rajouri to further move towards Kashmir.

Last week, militants killed four Army personnel and reportedly mutilated the bodies of at least two soldiers and took away weapons of some of them. The counteraction by security forces, however, led to the death of three civilians and injuries to others.

As per the Union home ministry data, 35 civilians lost their lives during actions/encounters initiated by security forces as compared to 174 civilians killed during terrorists-triggered incidents from 2018 to 2022. In the past 15 months, central agencies have observed five identical attacks on security forces that have so far claimed the lives of nearly two dozen soldiers and officers.

In November, five soldiers, including two captains, were killed in a two-day anti-terror operation in Rajouri. Earlier in April-May, 10 soldiers were killed in twin attacks in Poonch. The Army vehicles that came under attack in Poonch were carrying rations ahead of Eid.Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) affiliate People’s Anti-Fascist Front later claimed responsibility for the attack. On January 1 and 2, twin attacks took place in Dangri village in Rajouri. The first attack, a shooting, resulted in the death of four and injuries to nine others. In the second attack, an IED exploded near the same attack site, resulting in the death of a child at the scene and injuries to five others. A second child injured in that blast died from injuries, raising the overall death toll to six. In August 2022, four soldiers were killed when two militants tried to storm into an Army camp in Rajouri. Government officials maintained that the number of active militants remained over 100, with foreign terrorists outnumbering local recruits. “As many as 71 foreign militants were active in the region as compared to 38 local terrorists,” according to the data available with central agencies.



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