Terrorists fire on Army truck in J&K’s Poonch, five soldiers killed
Initial reports had suggested that a lightning strike may caused the blaze in the Indian Army vehicle at Bhata Dhurian falls in Poonch.
Jammu and Kashmir: At least five soldiers were killed and one injured after an Indian Army vehicle was fired upon by unidentified terrorists on Thursday at around 3 pm in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, according to a statement by the Army Headquarters, Northern Command.
Five personnel of the Rashtriya Rifles Unit deployed for counter terrorist operations in the area lost their lives in the incident. Another seriously injured soldier was evacuated immediately to the Army Hospital at Rajouri and is under treatment.
Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed officers securing the spot of attack.
While initial reports suggested that a lightning strike may caused the truck to catch fire, it was later found that the blaze was likely due to terrorists using grenades. The incident happened at Bhata Dhurian falls in Mendhar sub division while the vehicle was moving from Bhimber Gali to Sangiot.
Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said, “Today, at approximately 1500 hours, one Army vehicle, moving between Bhimber Gali and Poonch in the Rajouri sector was fired on by unidentified terrorists, taking advantage of heavy rains and low visibility in the area. The vehicle caught fire, due to likely use of grenades by terrorists.”
Search operations are underway to identify the perpetrators.
The Commander of the 13 sector Rashtriya Rifles has rushed to the spot, which is 90 kilometres from Poonch, the sources added.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh offered condolences to the families of the deceased tweeting that he was “anguished by the tragedy”.
Last year, at least four people were charred to death after a bus carrying pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine caught fire near Katra in Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir. As many as 22 others were injured. A letter purportedly issued by an unknown terror outfit ‘Jammu and Kashmir Freedom Fighters’ later claimed responsibility for the fire, which it said was an ‘IED blast’ triggered by one of its ‘special squads’.