10-kg bomb was to be planted at Gulpur bridge
Ultras were living ahead of fence in Poonch
JAMMU, May 31: In a major success, Army today captured three militants alive, one of them in an injured condition, after brief spell of exchange of firing near the Line of Control (LoC) at Khari Karmara in Poonch sector and recovered large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives including a powerful 10 kilogram Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and 10 packets of narcotics from their possession.
An Army jawan was also injured in the firing that took place after alert troops intercepted a group of militants sneaking into this side along with a consignment of weaponry and narcotics at forward village of Karmara at 1.30 am today.
“One of the militants opened firing on the Army personnel with his AK-56 rifle in which a soldier was injured. Troops retaliated and captured alive all three militants, one of them in an injured condition,” the officials said.
Sources said an Afghanistan made pressure cooker IED has been recovered by the troops from the militants. Script in Urdu language with Peer Baba Manufacturer, Afghan has been written on the pressure cooker. The cooker is loaded with 10 kg of explosives.
The recovered utensil has been offered on the Amazon on-line buying website beneath the identity of Baba Strain Cooker. The Baba strain cooker is a specifically formed container made in Afghanistan that’s used to prepare dinner.
Considering capacity of cooker, the militants put about 10 kg of explosives material in it to cause maximum damage in case of explosion, the officials said.
The militants revealed that they had planned to plant the IED at Gulpur Bridge in Poonch to target Army convoys
Arrested militants have been identified as Mohammad Riyaz, 23, son of Mohammad Farooq, Mohammad Farooq, 26 son of Mohammad Rafi and Mohammad Zubair, 22, son of Mohammad Razzaq, all residents of Karmara.
Mohammad Rafiq was hit with a bullet in his left foot and has been admitted in the hospital where his condition was stated to be stable. Injured soldier has also been hospitalized and he too is responding to the treatment.
Recoveries made from their possession include a powerful 10 kg IED concealed in a pressure cooker like device, one AK-56 rifle with one magazine and 10 bullets (rest of the bullets had been fired by the militant), two pistols with four magazines and 70 rounds, six Chinese hand grenades and 20 packets of narcotics.
Officials confirmed that this was a rare occasion when all three militants were captured alive by the Army after an encounter and said their questioning will lead to vital clues including source of weapons and narcotics in Pakistan and PoJK and their likely targets in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.
Excepting injured, two other militants have been shifted for sustained questioning.
As per the officials, all three militants were residents of village Karmara Polas which is located ahead of the border fencing on the LoC in Poonch sector from where they appeared to have been lured into militancy by PoJK-based militant commanders.
“Recovery of 10 kg IED has averted what could have been a major catastrophe,” the officials said.
“The area where encounter took place has been cordoned and search operation is in progress. Blood trails have been found. Three terrorists with some weapons, war-like stores including one IED and narcotics have been apprehended. One Indian Army soldier was injured in the ensuing firing and has been evacuated,” Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said.
The militants are believed to have received the arms and narcotic consignment from across the border and were trying to smuggle it into this side when they were intercepted by the troops, the officials said.
The IED was later neutralised by the experts of the Bomb Disposal Squad, the officials said.
The search operation in the area was still going on when last reports were received, the officials said.
Army has been maintaining a very high alert all along the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch to thwart infiltration attempts by the militants from Pakistan side.