Drone strikes at Jammu IAF base, security beefed up in the region
Two explosives-laden drones hit the Indian Air Force station at Jammu airport during the early hours of Sunday. As per tweets posted by the Indian Air Force, the two “low-intensity” explosions were reported in the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station.
“One caused minor damage to the roof of a building while the other exploded in an open area. There was no damage to any equipment. The investigation is in progress along with civil agencies,” the IAF added in the tweets.
According to media reports, two IAF personnel suffered injuries in the explosions.
In the wake of the incident, authorities have beefed up security around the base areas. Furthermore, state governments of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have issued high alerts in districts bordering Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to the media, J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh termed the explosions a “terrorist attack” at the IAF station. He added J&K police and other security agencies, including the IAF and the National Bomb Data Centre, are working together to get to the bottom of the plan behind the attack.
“Drones with payload were used in both the blasts at Jammu airfield,” he said.
An FIR has been registered under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, following which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the investigation.
While probing the drone explosion, security officials also recovered another improvised explosive device (IED) weighing around six kg from a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.
“This recovery has foiled another major terror attack. The suspect is being interrogated and more suspects are likely to be arrested in connection with the foiled attempt,” Singh told media.
The Jammu base camp explosions have taken place days after PM Modi held a key meeting with top political parties of J&K to discuss the election procedure and delimitation process in the Union Territory. Furthermore, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also kicked off his three-day visit to Ladakh to interact with troops and take a review of the situation in the region.
Reportedly, the Defence Minister and other senior military officials are continuously monitoring the situation.
A Hindustan Times report stated that prima facie investigations conducted by J&K police and other security agencies are indicating the role of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group behind the drone strike at the Jammu IAF base.
In the recent past, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones from Pakistan have dropped weapons along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. In April 2021, the BSF fired at two drones entering the International Border in J&K from Pakistan. According to a BSF official, the border guards firing forced the drones to retreat back to Pakistan territory
It is important to note that India and Pakistan in February 2021 had agreed to a strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors.