Two soldiers succumb to injuries from Pulwama IED on patrol party; army earlier termed blast 'failed attempt'

Two army personnel who were injured in a terrorist attack on a military convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district have succumbed to their injuries, ANI reported.

News18 said that contrary to the claim that troopers received only minor injuries, two soldiers were admitted with severe contusions and concussions at the 92 base hospital. The duo, who are yet to be identified, passed away Tuesday morning.

 Two soldiers succumb to injuries from Pulwama IED on patrol party; army earlier termed blast failed attempt

Representational image. PTI

The attack was orchestrated Monday when suspected militants triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) fitted in a vehicle near an Indian Army patrol in the militancy-hit south Kashmir district. The multi-vehicle patrol of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles was moving on Arihal-Pulwama road when the IED was detonated by the militants, injuring at list six personnel travelling in a bullet-and-mine-proof Casper vehicle. Two civilians, who were working in their fields adjacent to the spot, were also injured.

The loss of life came as a shock as the army had insisted the attack was a 'failed attempt' to hamper the security operations and that all troopers were safe. The latest reports state that the blast actually caused severe damage to the vehicle and injured at least nine soldiers.

Srinagar-based defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said it was a "failed attempt" to attack the patrol and except for a "few minor injuries, all troops are safe".

"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," Kalia said.

"Troops are all safe, (except a) few minor injuries," the defence spokesman said, adding the damage was minimised due to the alertness of the patrol team. The area has been cordoned off and a search operation is in progress, he had said. The injured have been admitted to a hospital and all of them were reported to be in stable condition, the officials said.

The attack on the patrol party brought back memories of the deadly fidayeen attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy on 14 February 2019 that killed as many as 42 CRPF jawans. The site of Monday's blast was 27 kilometres from the place where a Jaish-e-Mohammad militant crashed his explosive-laden car into the convoy's vehicle on Jammu-Srinagar highway on 14 February.

Monday's attack was also reminiscent of another similar fidayeen attack in the area from one year ago. On 28 August 2018, a similar attempt was made in Navpora Payeen in Pulwama when an armoured vehicle (Casper) of 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) was hit by an IED blast. However, the army managed to avoid any major casualties.

On Wednesday, five CRPF personnel and one Jammu and Kashmir Police officer were killed in a militant attack on a busy road in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The incident happened when militants believed to be two to three in number had fired upon a stationary party of the CRPF at KP Road.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 18, 2019 12:04:37 IST