Five Rashtriya Rifles soldiers killed in a major terrorist attack on Army vehicle in Jammu & Kashmir

Team India Sentinels Thursday 20th of April 2023 05:57 PM

The Army truck that the terrorists attacked in Poonch district. (Photo via Twitter) 

Udhampur/New Delhi: At least five soldiers of the Rashtriya Rifles were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in was ambushed in Jammu & Kashmir’s Poonch district, on Thursday, the Indian Army’s Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur said. One soldier has been seriously injured in the attack. He has been evacuated to the Army Hospital at Rajouri for treatment.

Early reports about the incident speculated that the truck might have caught fire due to a lightning strike or an accident. However, the Army confirmed the incident as a terror attack, later in the evening.

In a statement, the Northern Army said: “Today, at approximately 1500 hours [3pm], 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.”

The five fallen Rashtriya Rifles soldiers were deployed for counterterror operations in the area. The XVI Corps (White Knight Corps), which has its headquarters in Jammu’s Nagrota cantonment, identified the fallen soldiers as Havildar Mandeep Singh, Lance Naik Debashish Baswal, Lance Naik Kulwant Singh, Sepoy Harkrishan Singh, and Sepoy Sewak Singh.

The Army and the Jammu & Kashmir Police have launched a search operation in the area to locate the perpetrators.

Amateur photos and videos captured by locals and travellers on the road showed an Army truck on fire with semi-burnt bodies lying around. Local civilians and soldiers were seen trying to extinguish the burning truck. It wasn’t immediately clear how many soldiers were travelling on the vehicle and what unit of Rashtriya Rifles they belonged to.

In New Delhi, the Army chief, General Manoj Pande, has briefed the defence minister, Rajnath Singh, about the terror ambush, which is a major attack on the Army in recent times.

Further details are awaited.


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