Army foils major terror attack in Akhnoor town

An IED, map and other paraphernalia recovered in Akhnoor town. Another pic on page 6.
An IED, map and other paraphernalia recovered in Akhnoor town. Another pic on page 6.

Massive hunt on to track down militants

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Oct 5: Army today thwarted major terror attack on an Army Unit location in Akhnoor town as they detected movement of the militants well in time and recovered large quantity of explosives and other material including an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which the militants had planted near the Unit.

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Immediately after recoveries were made, Army and police launched massive search operations in Akhnoor town and surroundings including the routes leading to the border with Pakistan to track down the militants responsible for planting the IEDs near the Army Unit. Though searches continued, there were no reports of any arrests till tonight.
The incident, however, created panic among the people of Akhnoor town and its surroundings as the report of what could have been a possible terror attack emerged. However, security forces and police continued to patrol all sensitive areas, sources said.
They said alert and vigilant troops of Army observed suspicious movement close to an Army Unit location near Akhnoor market in wee hours of this morning and immediately activated the “response mechanism”, wherein entire area was cordoned off and massive search operation was conducted.
SSP Jammu Vivek Gupta told the Excelsior that police have initiated high mechanism of alert after the reports.
Sources said during area sanitization process, security forces utilized services of Dog Squad and recovered large quantity of explosive material and other items from the spot which included one fully installed IED, two mines, Army combat dresses, identity cards, sharp-edged weapons, sensitive route and other maps and various incriminating stores, which clearly indicated that the militants were planning a terror attack on “sensitive and soft targets” in Akhnoor.
Reliable sources, however, said since movement of the suspects was observed close to the Army Unit, the possible target of the militants could be the same Unit but in view of high degree of alert being maintained by the troops, the attack was thwarted and militants failed in their nefarious designs.
Immediately after effecting the recoveries Army and police teams carried out massive search operations in Akhnoor town including areas leading the border with Pakistan to track down the militants. However, no contact was established with militants or their Over Ground Workers (OGWs).
Sources said they were working out on various possibilities to ascertain route taken by the militants to reach Akhnoor town along with powerful IEDs, mines and other items including the combat dresses, which pointed towards evil designs of the militants that they were planning to carry out an attack on security force installations or crowded areas of Akhnoor to target the public but they miserably failed in their plot due to alertness displayed by the troops.
Only a day before, militants had attacked a Border Security Force (BSF) camp at Humhama near International Airport, Srinagar in which a BSF official was killed while security personnel had foiled the attack by killing all three fidayeen.
Governor NN Vohra had yesterday asked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to conduct Security Audit of all security force installations.
This, according to sources, was done to ensure that the militants didn’t manage to carry out more attacks on security personnel. And, even if they attacked, they are neutralized within no time.
The militants’ plot to target the Army Unit in Akhnoor town came at a time when Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre is on a two-day visit of Jammu region, which concluded today,
Meanwhile, police have registered a case in the recoveries made from near the Army Unit in Akhnoor town at Akhnoor police station and started further investigations. Recoveries made from the spot including identity cards were being examined to reach to the accused.
Police parties in the searches were being led by Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Akhnoor, Munish Anand.
Sources said the IED in possession of the militants was very powerful and capable of causing extensive damage.