Updated May 5th, 2024 at 15:18 IST

Poonch Terror Attack: Mastermind Lashkar Commander QR Used US-Made Rifles, Chinese Bullets- 5 Points

IAF vehicles moving towards Sanai Top in Poonch's Surankote area were attacked on Saturday evening.

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
1 IAF personnel killed, 4 injured in Poonch terror attack | Image: Republic
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New Delhi: Search operations entered second-day on Sunday, May 5,  after a convoy of Indian Air Force (IAF) was attacked in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district by terrorists. IAF vehicles moving towards Sanai Top in Poonch's Surankote area were attacked on Saturday evening in which five personnel were injured. They were promptly transported to the Command Hospital in Udhampur where one of the soldiers succumbed to the injuries during treatment.  

The Indian Air Force confirmed the incident through a tweet, stating that the targeted convoy had been secured. The Air Force stated that operations have been launched to track the terrorists who attacked the convoy. "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," the IAF said in a post on X.

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The attack took place three weeks ahead of polling in the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency. Poonch is part of the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency, which goes to polls in the sixth phase on May 25.

 

Here's What We Know So Far; 

 Details of the Attack 

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The attack took place around 6:15 pm when the troops were returning to the Air Force station from Jaranwali. One of the trucks in the IAF convoy bore the maximum brunt of the attack with over 20 bullets hitting its windscreen and side.

Image: Republic 

 

 

Image: Republic 

 

Massive Manhunt Launched to Track Down Terrorists 

Massive manhunt has been launched to track down the terrorists who are believed to have fled in the nearby forests after the attack. A well-coordinated joint operation by the army and police is underway in many areas, including Shahsitar, Gursai, Sanai and Sheendara Top, to neutralise the terrorists.However, there has been no "contact" with the terrorists yet. 

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Sources said that six locals have been detained by the local police for allegedly supplying weapons to the attackers, however, an official confirmation is awaited regarding the same. Aerial surveillance is also being carried out at Shahsitar area in Poonch. 

 

US Made M4 and AK47 Rifles Used

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 Sources exclusive to Republic said that terrorists used US made M4 rifles and AK47 to attack the Indian Air Force convoy. Chinese made bullets were also used in the attack, said sources. Sources told Republic that 200 rounds of bullets were fired on the jawans in a span of 15 minutes.

Image: Republic 

 

One Air Warrior Succumbs To Injuries

After being injured in the incident, Corporal Vikky Pahade succumbed to injuries during treatment. The Air Force paid tributes to Corporal Pahade. “The CAS Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari & all personnel of Indian Air Force salute the braveheart Corporal Vikky Pahade, who made the supreme sacrifice in Poonch Sector, in the service of the nation. Our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. We stand firmly by your side in this hour of grief,” said the Indian Air Force in a post on X. 

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"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," the IAF had earlier informed. 

 

Heavy Security Deployment in the Valley 

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Additional forces of the Indian Army reached the Jarra Wali Gali (JWG) in Poonch on Saturday late at night. Deployment has been increased across Jammu and Kashmir and vehicle-checking has been intensified in the valley. 

 

Commander QR2 Carried Out the Attack

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Lashkar's People's Anti-Fascist Front (PAFP) had claimed responsibility for the attack, said reports. Sources said a Lashkar commander known with his code name QR2 was behind the attack. Lashkar Commander QR2 has been trained in Pakistan and he has been active in Rajouri region of Jammu and Kashmir for over 1.5 years. 

 

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Published May 5th, 2024 at 14:48 IST