Militants trigger 4 IED blasts on LoC19 June 2010
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: Militants were reported to have triggered four IED blasts in two forward areas of Mendhar sector, close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district this morning killing an Army Havaldar and injuring two jawans. Two IED blasts took place at Sagra post in Mankote area of Mendhar and two others in Balakote in a span of less than one and a half hour. This is for the second time during last one month that the militants were reported to have crossed the border fencing to target Army in Poonch district. Last month, the ultras were said to have fired on an Army vehicle moving close to the fencing killing two soldiers and wounding three others. At least five to six militants were reported to have crossed the LoC to plant the IEDs. However, it couldn’t be ascertained immediately as to whether the militants escaped back after planting explosive devices or intruded into this side. Searches were being conducted in the area by the Army personnel. Official sources told the Excelsior that an IED blast took place near Army’s Sagra post at Lohar Gali in Chajra Wali area of Mankote in Mendhar sector at 6.18 am when a team of Army personnel was conducted routine patrolling around the post, which was located very close to the LoC. Havaldar Hempi Roy Choudhary of 5 Maratha Li, who was leading the patrol party, was killed on spot in the powerful IED blast, which was reported to have been triggered with a remote control device by the militants either from Indian side or from across the LoC on Pakistan side. The area was located close to the LoC and it was possible for the militants to detonate the IED even from Pakistan side, sources said. As two Army personnel went to lift body of the Havaldar, another IED was blasted by the militants causing injuries to two jawans. Other troops later cautiously moved toward the site of blasts and evacuated injured to hospital. Body of the killed Havaldar was also shifted to hospital for post-mortem and was in the process of being sent to his home town in Maharashtra. The second blast took place at 6.25 am. Two more explosions occurred along Bhimber Nullah in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil at 7.15 am and 7.25 am in which a wild animal was killed. This area too is regularly patrolled by the troops in the morning. Sources said the militants appeared to have detonated the IEDs few minutes before patrolling by the Army personnel. Army carried out searches in Mankote and Balakote forward areas throughout the day today but the militants remained untraced. Sources believed that the militants might have triggered the blasts from close to the border fencing to target Army jawans and escaped towards Pakistan side later. Possibility of the ultras having escaped to Pakistan after detonating the blasts is also not ruled out. The militants executed the blasts with active connivance of Pakistan Army. 'Without the help of Pakistan troops, it was not possible for the militants to infiltrate into this side, plant the IEDs and detonate them’’, sources said. They added that at least five to six militants were reported to have infiltrated into this side to plant the IEDs to target Army. When contacted, SSP Poonch Manmohan Singh said the Army have lodged a FIR at police station Mendhar saying the blasts took place with freshly planted IEDs triggered with a remoted control device. Mr Singh said Army and police were conducting searches in the area to neutralize the militants if they were still present on this side. However, the indications were that the militants had escaped after planting the IEDs. The twin blasts at Balakote might have been triggered by mines but the explosions at Sagra, Mankote were definitely caused by the IEDs planted by the militants in the night or wee hours of the morning, sources said. It may be recalled that last month, the militants had fired on an Army vehicle from close to border fencing in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district killing two soldiers and wounding three others. The incident had taken place with the backing of Pakistan troops as the firing was resorted to by the militants from close to fencing on the LoC. After the firing incident, Pakistan Army had violated cease-fire on a couple of occasions in Krishna Ghati sector. Sources said a number of militants stranded on Pakistan side of LoC and International Border were finding it difficult to infiltrate into this side due to strict surveillance maintained by Army and BSF and fencing of the border area. In frustration, the militants were trying to target the security personnel. Few days back, Northern Command chief Lt Gen B S Jaswal had said in a television interview that 600 to 800 militants were waiting to infiltrate into the Indian territory.