• Wed. Jul 17th, 2024


Five soldiers died and another was seriously injured in a terrorist attack on a military vehicle in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri sector on Thursday.

The vehicle was fired upon by the terrorists at around 3 pm near the Bhimber Gali area and later caught fire due to a likely grenade attack, the Army said.

Terrorists fired upon an Army vehicle taking advantage of the heavy rain and low visibility in the area, the Northern Command said. The jawans killed in the firing were from the Rashtriya Rifles Unit and were deployed for counter-terrorism operations in the area.

According to sources, the firing was carried out from three sides, followed by a grenade attack. The fuel tank caught fire, they added. Officials suspect the involvement of four terrorists.

Jaish-backed terror group, People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), has claimed responsibility for the attack, sources said.

The attack took place near the site of a 2021 encounter that lasted several weeks. Despite an intense search operation, the terrorists had managed to flee the spot and changed their locations.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted after the attack and expressed his anguish. “Anguished by the tragedy in Poonch District (J&K), where the Indian Army has lost its brave soldiers after a truck caught fire. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the bereaved families.” His tweet came minutes before the Army said the soldiers were killed in a terror strike.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed by the Army Chief, General Manoj Pande, about the terrorist attack. The troops on the ground are keeping a watch on the situation and taking appropriate action, news agency ANI reported, citing defence sources.

One Army personnel was injured and was evacuated immediately to the Army Hospital in Rajouri where he is being treated for his injuries.

Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condoled the deaths of the five jawans and said: “I am deeply anguished by the loss of lives of brave Army personnel in a tragic incident at Poonch. Their rich service to the nation will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

As per intelligence sources, the Sangiot area where the ambush happened has traditionally been a transit route for Pakistani terrorists.

Last year, at least four people were charred to death after a bus carrying pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine caught fire near Katra in Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir. As many as 22 others were injured.

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