Srinagar: One soldier was killed and at least nineteen others besides two civilians, who were working in their fields, were injured when militants triggered off explosives-laden in a car at Aarihal village in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Monday evening.
Official sources said that around 06:00 pm militants triggered the blast as soon as army’s vehicle (Hardened ALS) of 44 RR reached adjacent to the explosive-laden parked on the roadside near Aarihal.
In the blast, the army vehicle suffered extensive damage and 20 soldiers travelling in it were injured.
All the injured soldiers were removed to army’s 92 base hospital where one of them, sepoy Badal Singh (driver; belt no. 14870207P) succumbed to the injuries while the condition of two others who were boarding cabin of the vehicle, is stated to be serious.
Two civilians, one of them Abdul Ahad Mir who were working in their fields also suffered injuries and were immediately taken to hospital.
The officer said that the explosives were fitted inside a car and investigators are probing the owner of the vehicle.
Asked, which type of vehicle was used, the officer said that it is a matter of investigation.
“Samples have been collected and further probe is underway,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, Army said that the explosion was a “failed attempt”, which caused “minor injuries” to few soldiers.
“The driver of the vehicle is injured and under specialist care. Other soldiers, brought to the hospital with minor bruises and concussion/contusion for investigations are stable,” said a defence spokesman.
“The damage was minimised due to swift action of the driver. Operation is underway. Further updates will be shared later,” he added.
A police spokesman said that “as per the reports received”, in Arihal area of Pulwama, one mobile patrol vehicle of Army moving through the area suffered damages due to an explosion.
“Six Army Jawans have sustained injuries in the incident and are stated to be stable,” the spokesman said.
Moreover, he said two civilians also sustained injuries due to the explosion. “They were evacuated to hospital by the jawans and are undergoing treatment,” the spokesman added.
Local residents of the area said that they heard a loud sound of the blast followed by firing which triggered panic in the area.
Soon after the incident, additional reinforcement of army, police and SOG was rushed to the spot and launched a massive search operation to nab the attackers. (GNS)