Suicide attacker escaped, left behind car with 45 kg explosives: IGP Kashmir

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir Police today said that a three-member “suicide squad” of Jaish-e-Muhammad and Hizbul Mujahideen had plans to target security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, with a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) weighing at least 40 to 45 kg fitted inside a car, that was traced on time and destroyed.

While addressing a press conference here, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that a suicide bomber driving the car jumped two nakas ( security check posts) late last night at Ayegund area of Rajpora in Pulwama and left behind the vehicle laden with heavy explosives when forces fired shots to stop him.

“Three militants of Jaish and Hizbul led by one Adil, who works for both, were planning a suicide attack on security forces. They were planning to target security forces on Ramadhan 17 (Jang-e-Badr), but couldn’t succeed as we had already intensified the operations against the militants,” the IGP said while addressing a press conference at Police Control Room (PCR), Srinagar.

The day of Badr falls on 17th Ramadan (May 11) every year and security forces in J&K are alert around this time as terrorists try to show their presence in the Valley. ‘Jang-e-Badr’ or the Battle of Badr was fought by Prophet Muhammad along with his companions 1400 years ago in the battlefield of Badr in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

IGP Kashmir said that at least 40 to 45 kgs of explosive material was fitted in the Santro car that had a fake number plate. “Police, Army and the CRPF were getting inputs about the possible fidayeen attack by the militants. Yesterday, the lead matured and nakas were laid at various points. Our men stopped the suicide attacker at two naka points and fired warning shots at both sites but he jumped at both places,” the IGP said.

“A few meters away from the second naka point, he left behind the vehicle late night yesterday at Ayegund area of Rajpora, Pulwama,” he added.

He said that when the dawn broke, the security forces found that the vehicle was suspicious and the Bomb Disposal Squad was instantly called.

“After preliminary investigations, we found that the vehicle was laden with at least 40 to 45 kg of explosive material which included ammonium nitrate, RDX and other material like gelatin sticks, etc. Earlier, we thought it must be around 10 to 15 kg,” he said.

“We concluded that 40 to 45 kg of explosive material was used by militants after seeing that the vehicle went up to 15 meters up in the air when the IED was detonated.”

He said that the timely action of Police, Army and the CRPF in detecting and defusing the IED is laudable. “I compliment all the security agencies for this successful operation,” the IGP said, adding “Timely action of the security agencies helped avert a major tragedy.”

Earlier in the day, a top security official told NVI that terrorists had a plan to carry out February 14, 2019 like terror attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed, but timely input and action of forces helped prevent a major mishap.