Five attacks, same modus operandi; agencies suspect local help to ultras in J&K : The Tribune India

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Five attacks, same modus operandi; agencies suspect local help to ultras in J&K

Five attacks, same modus operandi; agencies suspect local help to ultras in J&K

Army personnel during a counter-terror operation in Kathua on Tuesday. PTI



Arjun Sharma

Jammu, July 9

A day after an ambush on two Army vehicles at Badnota village in Machedi area of Kathua district in which five soldiers were killed, intelligence agencies believe that the attack was a handiwork of at least 4-6 ultras who targeted the convoy in exactly the same manner like they have done in the past.

Intelligence sources said terrorists had done a recce and chosen the spot of attack—an unpaved road—which slowed down the speed of two vehicles travelling at a distance of at least 150-200 metres. Both the vehicles were attacked simultaneously.

Sources also believe that the terrorist group might have been brought to the area by local guides, who used the tracks within forest areas to reach the spot and were present there at the time of attack.

US made M4 carbine, Chinese grenades and AK-47 rifles were used in attacking the vehicles wherein first bullets were sprayed on tyres to make vehicles immobile after which indiscriminate firing was opened from at least two different sides on the vehicles which required at least 4-6 ultras. There was at least one sniper hiding in forest area while some ultras came on road.

The pattern of attack matches the ambushes which had taken place in the past in Poonch district. These include the one on April 20 last year in which five jawans were killed, then on December 21 where four soldiers died in action and May 4 this year where one Air Force personnel died. The modus operandi was same even in the attack on a pilgrim bus in Reasi on June 9, in which nine persons died and many others were injured.

“It seems that these ultras are highly trained in ambushes due to which they choose a perfect spot on a road, which had twists and turns so that the driver is not able to see the terrorists who had taken position on road and in the forest area,” said a senior Army official.

He said that steel coated bullets were used in all ambushes since last year with attack taking place in dense forest area so that the ultras can escape after launching the attack.

It has been reliably learnt that a local bus and a tipper had gone from the road minutes before the attack on the two Army vehicles. It is believed by the investigators that the ultras had specific information about the movement of the vehicles which were supposed to be targeted.

Sources also informed that the attackers might comprise of two to three groups of trained ultras as these terrorists mostly move in dense forest areas in a group of two. Most of these ultras are ex-Pakistani soldiers who have been trained in ambushes in Pakistan Occupied J&K (PoJK) which share similar topography with mountainous areas on the Indian side.

Jammu division has witnessed a spike in terror related incidents over the past few months. Intelligence agencies believe that there might be over 40 terrorists in different districts of the region who have infiltrated into the Indian side from Pakistan.

4-6 militants involved in Kathua ambush

  • The attack seems to be a handiwork of at least four to six ultras who targeted the convoy in the same manner as in the past
  • The terrorists had done a recce and chosen the spot of attack — an unpaved road — which slowed down the speed of two vehicles travelling at a distance of at least 150-200 m from them
  • The group might have been brought to the area by local guides, who used the tracks within forest areas to reach the spot and were present there at the time of attack

#Jammu #Kathua


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