JAMMU, Dec 27: Troops of Rashtriya Rifles battalion of Counter Insurgency Romeo Force today averted major tragedy when it detected and defused powerful TNT filled Improvised Explosive Device (IED), fitted by the militants under a bridge at Saglet in Sakhi Maidaan area of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district.
The militants had planted the IED to blast the bridge and cause casualties of security forces and civilians but the alert troops foiled their designs by recovering the IED well in time and defusing it.
The troops used robotic arm to defuse the IED to ensure that there were no casualties of the security personnel by defusing it manually.
Official sources said the troops of Rashtriya Rifles battalion of Counter Insurgency Romeo Force spotted a cooker IED fitted under Saglet bridge in Sakhi Maidaan area of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district at 7.30 am today and immediately stopped traffic on Mendhar-Poonch road via Mankote.
The troops called Bomb Disposal Squads of police and Army. Senior police officers rushed to the spot and stopped movement of civilians in the area.
The troops used robotic arm to defuse the IED to ensure that there were no casualties of Bomb Disposal Squad while defusing very powerful explosive device. The cooker was filled with five kilograms TNT explosive device, which was capable of blasting Saget bridge and causing extensive damage to vehicles crossing over it.
Sources said target of the militants by planting the IED under bridge was vehicles of security forces and civilians as they intended to cause casualties by carrying out major subversive activity to make their presence felt in the border district of Poonch, where they were presently lying very low.
“The IED was successfully defused at 1.15 pm,” sources said, adding the traffic on Mendhar-Poonch road via Mankote was restored only after Army and police sanitized the area and declared it fit for traffic.
Though there has been no major presence of militants in the border district, some militants and Over Ground Workers were reportedly active and in possession of explosive devices. Sources said the IED might have been fabricated and planted by one such group.
“The analysis of the bomb indicated presence of about five kilograms of powerful TNT explosive material inside the pressure cooker,” sources said, adding the vigilant and timely action by the troops has averted what could have been a major catastrophe.
They pointed out that blasting of the bridge would have de-linked Mendhar with Poonch via Mankote. The IED was capable of blasting the bridge and disrupting the vehicular movement.