Arrival of ‘sticky bombs’ used in Afghanistan in Kashmir sets off alarm bells: Report

Srinagar: Government forces in Kashmir are alarmed by the recent arrival of small, magnetic bombs that have wreaked havoc in Afghanistan, Reuters news agency reported

“Sticky bombs”, which can be attached to vehicles and detonated remotely, have been seized during raids in recent months in the occupied territory, three senior security officials told Reuters.

“These are small IEDs and quite powerful,” said Kashmir Valley police chief Vijay Kumar to Reuters, referring to improvised explosive devices. “It will certainly impact the present security scenario as volume and frequency of vehicular movements of police and security forces are high in Kashmir Valley.”

The arrival of the sticky bombs in Kashmir — including 15 seized in a February raid — raises concerns that an unnerving tactic attributed to the Taliban insurgents in nearby Afghanistan could be spreading to the occupied territory, Reuters reported .

The report said in Afghanistan in recent months has seen a series of sticky-bomb attacks targeting security forces, judges, government officials, civil society activists and journalists. The attacks — some as victims sat in traffic — have sown fear, while avoiding substantial civilian casualties.

New Delhi has attempted to maintain a tight grip over the Kashmir Valley, where high-speed mobile internet was suspended for 18 months until earlier in February, but the unrest has simmered on, the report added.

Officials said the bombs are particularly worrying because they can be easily attached to vehicles using magnets, potentially allowing for assassination attempts or target military convoys that regularly criss-cross the valley, the report added.

The report quoting Police chief Kumar said that forces were changing protocols to deal with the new threat.

It added that the measures included increasing the distance between private and military traffic, installing more cameras on vehicles and using drones to monitor convoys.

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