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JammuTerrorists using steel bullets to ambush forces in J&K, taking to ‘hit-&-run’...

Terrorists using steel bullets to ambush forces in J&K, taking to ‘hit-&-run’ tactics


: With yet another attack on military vehicles in which an Indian Air Force (IAF) man was killed by terrorists in Poonch district on Saturday evening, the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri have emerged as the epicentre of ambushes and encounters.

Multiple incidents in one year

May 4, 2024: 1 IAF man killed in ambush in Surankote, Poonch

Dec 21, 2023: Four soldiers killed by terrorists in Surankote

Nov 22-23: Two officers among 5 killed in Kalakote encounter

Sept 13: One soldier killed in encounter in Rajouri's Narla area

May 5: 5 Army commandos killed in IED blast in Rajouri's Kandi

April 20: 5 soldiers killed in ambush at Bhatta Dhurian, Poonch

Lethal ammo

– Security forces concerned about steel bullets used by terrorists to ambush military vehicles
– Such bullets made of hardened steel can pierce armoured vehicles and cause major damage
– Even bulletproof vests become vulnerable if steel bullet fired from close range

Most of the ambushes on vehicles in both districts along the Line of Control (LoC) took place where the roads meander in deep forest areas. All attacks were coordinated and pre-planned with terrorists taking at least three different positions to attack military pre-planned with terrorists taking at least three different positions to attack military convoys. On Saturday, when an IAF convoy was on its way to Sanai Top in the Surankote area in Poonch, it came under heavy fire near the Shahsitar area. Five IAF men were injured in the attack, of whom one succumbed to his injuries.

Sources in the Army intelligence said in all recent attacks, the ultras were likely aware of the movement of military vehicles. “They spray steel-coated bullets on trucks, which makes it nearly impossible to escape unhurt. The terrorists are well trained in ambushes. They know the positions they have to take during the attack. Even in Saturday's attack, bullets were fired from at least three different directions,” said a source.

The strategy of “hit and run” by terrorists where they open indiscriminate firing on military vehicles and escape into deep forest area before the reinforcements come has turned the attention of Army commanders towards this new technique. However, despite multiple ambushes in the past one year, the forces have not been able to devise a strategy to prevent these. The incidents have also raised questions on the security scenario in the region and failure of intelligence. After last year's April 20 ambush near Bhimber Gali, five Army commandos lost their lives in the Rajouri's Kandi area on May 5 when terrorists triggered an explosion as the soldiers reached near them.

On November 22 and 23, two officers among five soldiers were killed in an encounter in the Bajimaal area of Kalakote in Rajouri. Two terrorists, including a Lashkar-e-Toiba commander, were also shot dead.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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