A patrol unit was targetted by a vehicle mounted with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, the Army said in a statement. Jammu-Kashmir police said six army jawans and two civilians were injured in the blast. The jawans are stable while the civilians have been shifted to a hospital, the police added.
Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia informed that the driver of the vehicle is injured and is under ‘specialist care’. Other soldiers are brought to the hospital with minor bruises and concussion/contusion are stable. “The damage was minimised due to swift action of the driver. Operation is underway. Further updates will be shared later,” he added.
The attack took place when a patrol unit of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles was moving towards Arihal village in Pulwama. The Army has cordoned off the area and has also launched a search operation.
“A failed attempt was made to attack a mobile vehicle patrol of 44 RR with a Vehicle Based IED while the Army patrol was moving in the general area Arihal in district Pulwama today evening. Troops all safe. Few minor injuries. Reports of attack on Army convoy are unfounded and baseless. Area cordoned and search operations in progress,” the Army said.
The failed attack comes days after Pakistan informed India of a possible attack in the district near Awantipora. A top security official in Srinagar had confirmed to The Sunday Express about the possible attack by militants using an IED mounted on a vehicle. “The Pakistanis shared this information regarding the possibility of such an attack with our High Commission in Islamabad. They had also shared this information with the Americans, who too, informed us. So this information has come directly as well as via the Americans to us,” the official had said.
The site of the blast is 27 kms from the area where a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a suicide bomber on 14 February in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, PTI reported.
Earlier in the day, an Army Major and a militant were killed, while another officer and two troopers were injured in an encounter between security forces and the ultras in Anantnag district, officials said. They added that an unidentified militant was also killed in the gunfight and his body recovered.
(This is a developing story. More details awaited)