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Massive manhunt underway after terror attack on IAF convoy in J-K’s Poonch. J&K IAF Convoy Attack Work Of 4 LeT Terrorists Trained By Sajid Jutt.

According to top intelligence sources, the attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district was carried out by four Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists trained by Sajid Jutt. “After the previous attacks, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was developed. As the forces retaliated strongly, the terrorists fled. Search is on,” said sources, adding, “The incident happened around 6 pm, when the convoy was returning to the air force station from Jaranwali. The IAF movement was possibly for the radar operations. Two people are in critical condition. Almost 17 terrorists in this area are from the Sajid Jutt group.”

One soldier, Corporal Vikky Pahade, was killed, and four were injured as terrorists ambushed the IAF convoy, three weeks ahead of polling in the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency. Poonch is part of the constituency, which goes to polls in the sixth phase on May 25. Officials said five security personnel were injured, two critically, when four terrorists opened fire on IAF vehicles moving towards Sanai Top in Poonch’s Surankot area in the evening. One critically injured soldier later succumbed during treatment at a military hospital.

The IAF acknowledged the attack on X (formerly Twitter), stating, “An Indian Air Force vehicle convoy was attacked by militants in the Poonch district of J-K, near Shahsitar. Cordon and search operations are underway presently in the area by local military units. The convoy has been secured, and further investigation is under progress.” It added, “In the ensuing gunfight with terrorists, the Air Warriors fought back by returning fire. In the process, five IAF personnel received bullet injuries and were evacuated to the nearest military hospital for immediate medical attention. One Air Warrior succumbed to his injuries later. Further operations are on by the local security forces.”

Officials suspect the involvement of the same terrorist group that ambushed troops in adjoining Bufliaz on December 21, 2022, leaving four soldiers dead and three injured. One truck in the IAF convoy bore the maximum brunt, with several bullets hitting its windscreen and side. The terrorists, armed with AK assault rifles, are believed to have fled into nearby forests.

The border district of Poonch, along with adjoining Rajouri, has witnessed major terrorist attacks over the past two years, signaling the return of terror activities to the region once cleared of terrorism between 2003 and 2021. The latest incident follows the killing of a government employee, Mohd Razaq, brother of an Army personnel, by terrorists in Rajouri’s Kunda Top on April 22, and village defense guard Mohd Sharief in Udhampur’s Basantgarh area on April 28.

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