In Jammu & Kashmir's Poonch, 1 airman killed, 4 injured in militant attack on Indian Air Force convoy

Team India Sentinels Sunday 5th of May 2024 09:37 AM

The IAF vehicle that came under militant attack. (Amateur photo taken by a local and shared on X)

Udhampur/New Delhi: A militant attack in Jammu & Kashmir’s Poonch attack on an Indian Air Force vehicle convoy killed an airman and left four others wounded. The attack took place at around 8.20pm on Saturday, officials said.

The convoy, which was traversing through the volatile region, came under heavy fire from militants. The attack, which took place in the vicinity of Shahsitar, saw terrorists targeting the vehicles from elevated positions, exploiting the hilly terrain to their advantage.

Corporal Vikky Pahade, who was among the five IAF personnel injured in the ambush, succumbed to his injuries. The airman, who belonged to Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, was remembered for his bravery and dedication to duty. The IAF, in a statement, expressed its deepest condolences to the bereaved family and saluted the airman for his ultimate sacrifice.

The other injured personnel were promptly evacuated to the Army Command Hospital in Udhampur, where they received immediate medical attention. The swift response by the IAF personnel during the attack forced the militants to retreat into the nearby forests.

Security forces, including the local Rashtriya Rifles unit, have launched extensive cordon-and-search operations in the area. Helicopters and drones have been deployed to aid the search for the perpetrators, who remain at large.

This incident marks the second militant attack in the Pir Panjal region, encompassing Rajouri and Poonch districts, in less than a fortnight. The previous attack claimed the life of a villager, intensifying the security concerns in the region.

The attack’s timing is particularly concerning as it precedes the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency. The heightened militant activity poses a significant challenge to the security apparatus, tasked with ensuring a peaceful electoral process.

The IAF has secured the convoy within the airbase, and investigations are ongoing to ascertain the details of the attack. Although no militant group has claimed responsibility, the precision of the assault suggests that the attackers were familiar with the area’s topography, which the security forces patrol heavily.


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