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IAF convoy attack: Several people detained for questioning, search on for terrorists in Poonch

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Mendhar/Jammu, May 5: Several people were detained for questioning on Sunday as a massive search operation for terrorists behind the Indian Air Force (IAF) convoy attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district entered the second day, officials said.

Additional Director General of Police, Jammu, Anand Jain and senior officers of the Army and intelligence agencies visited the ambush spot in the Surankote area. The Army also conducted aerial surveillance using a helicopter, they said.

Five IAF personnel were injured in the attack on Saturday evening near Shahsitar and one of them later succumbed to injuries at a military hospital.

The officials said a well-coordinated joint operation by the Army and the police was underway in many areas, including Shahsitar, Gursai, Sanai and Sheendara Top, to neutralise the terrorists.

The attackers are believed to have fled to a forest after the attack, they said.

Besides AK assault rifles, the terrorists also used a US-made M4 carbine and steel bullets to cause maximum casualties, the officials added.

The IAF has identified the fallen hero as Corporal Vikky Pahade and expressed condolences to his family.

“The CAS (Chief of Air Staff) Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and 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,” it posted on ‘X’.

The officials said teams of the Army’s Para Commandos were also pressed into service in the search operation.

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There has been no “contact” with the terrorists yet, they said, adding that several people were detained for questioning in connection with the attack, the first major incident in Jammu region this year.

The officials said checking of vehicles has been intensified across the district which is going to polls in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 25. Poonch is part of the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency.

The border district of Poonch, along with adjoining Rajouri, has witnessed major terrorist attacks over the past two years. The region was peaceful between 2003 and 2021.–(PTI)

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