Two days after attack on convoy , 5 held with IED

A spokesperson for the police said an IED that was to be used for the attack was recovered on the basis of the information the five arrested associates gave to their interrogators.
Army personnel carry the coffin of Havildar Amarjeet Kumar, who was killed in improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast on Monday evening in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, at Jaiprakash Narayan Airport in Patna.(PTI photo)
Army personnel carry the coffin of Havildar Amarjeet Kumar, who was killed in improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast on Monday evening in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, at Jaiprakash Narayan Airport in Patna.(PTI photo)
Published on Jun 20, 2019 12:01 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Srinagar | ByHT Correspondent

Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday claimed to have foiled an attack on security forces by arresting five “associates” of the home-grown militant group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).

Manoj Kumar, a spokesperson for the police, said an IED that was to be used for the attack was recovered on the basis of the information the five – Aqib Nazir Rather, Amir Majeed Wani, Sameer Ahmed Bhat, Faisal Farooq Ahanger and Rayees Ahmed Ganai – gave to their interrogators. He said the five were arrested from South Kashmir’s Shopian district on the basis of “specific inputs”.

“During questioning, it was revealed that terrorists of proscribed outfit HM along with the [five] associates were planning to target police and security forces by planting an IED,” he said.

“On their disclosure, a sophisticated IED was recovered from their possession and a major terror attempt, which they had planned, was foiled.”

Around a dozen soldiers were on Monday injured in an IED attack on an army patrol in Pulwama’s Arihal. Two of the soldiers succumbed to their injuries on Tuesday. The army had called the attack “a failed” one and said the IED was “vehicle-based”. It did not clarify if a vehicle had rammed into the army patrol like in the case of the February 14 attack that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers in Pulwama or if the IED was placed in a stationary vehicle.

The five were arrested a day after security forces killed an alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) operative, whose van was used in the February 14 bombing. JeM claimed responsibility for the attack, which prompted India to bomb a camp of the terror group in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26.

There has been a spurt in militant attacks in Kashmir in which nine security personnel have been killed since last week. Five CRPF personnel were killed in an attack on security forces in Anantnag on June 12. Jammu and Kashmir police officer Arshad Khan, who was injured in the attack, died a day later. The Anantnag attack was the worst since the February 14 strike.

Major Ketan Sharma of the army’s Rashtriya Rifles was killed in a firefight with militants in Anantnag on Monday. A militant was also killed in the fight. Three civilians were injured in a grenade attack on a police station in Pulwama.

Separately, the authorities were forced to suspend internet services in South Kashmir’s Bijbehara on Wednesday after a cordon-and-search operation in the area triggered protests.

A police officer said the operation was launched after security forces received some inputs about the presence of militants there. He added the operation was called off after security forces failed to find any militants in the area.

Militants have lost the battle: governor

J&K governor Satya Pal Malik said on Wednesday that militants were carrying out odd attacks on the security forces at the behest of their handlers across the border as they have lost the battle.

“These attacks are nothing new in this place, but we have subdued it over the past six months. I believe 100% that they (militants) are under pressure from across (the border),” news agency PTI quoted Malik as saying in an apparent reference to the Pakistan-based militant handlers. “They (militant handlers) feel that they have lost as the terror infrastructure they had raised in last 10 years has been dismantled,” he added.

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