Payloads dropped by drones at Air Force station Jammu, say officials

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First incident of its kind in country, All security installations in Jammu put on high alert; NIA takes over probe

Jammu, Jun 28 : Top security officials Monday confirmed that drones dropped payloads at the Jammu Air Force Station on Sunday—a first kind of its incident in the country so far.

The investigations have been handed to the country’s primer agency—National Investigating Agency (NIA).

Though the security agencies are tight-lipped over the incident, top security officials, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to news agency that explosives were dropped by the drones at Jammu’s Air Force Station on Sunday. “It is beyond doubt that drones dropped payloads at Air Force Station in Jammu. Rest is subject to investigation,” they said, refusing to divulge further.

The Air Force Station incident coincided with the recovery of six kilogram IED by Jammu police from an LeT operative leading to detention of at least three suspects by J&K Police in Jammu. “It is being investigated whether recovery of IED has any links with the drone attack on Air Force Station,” a senior official, who is part of the security grid, said.

“Two drones flew from across the border, which is mere 14.5 kilometers away from the Jammu airport, and returned back after dropping the payloads,” a security official said. “The drones were suspected to be flying at a height of 1.2 kilometers and would have been powered by long range batteries.”

Sources in the security grid disclosed that the drone strike has raised red-flag in the Jammu sector given the fact that 14 drone stories are reported to have been launched from across the LoC.

In past, many drones have been recovered in border belt Jammu, Rajouri, Samba and Kathua districts fo theregion. “Six sorties with weapon payloads were found in Samba sector, three to four in Hiranagar sector, two in Nowshera-Rajouri sector and another two in Arnia sector. The drones are also used to drop narcotic consignments,” a police sources said.

On new security challenges, Defence expert Colonel (Retired) Virendra Sahi, (Veer Chakra) said: “Jammu and Kashmir is heading towards normalcy and Jammu was relatively peaceful and militancy activities were coming down in Kashmir. Return of peace would definitely be a cause of concern for the enemies, which includes internal as well as external.” On drones attacks, he said, “Drones are easily available and fortunately the attack is not precise. Security and intelligence agencies must keep vigil on all the activities. Air Defence Command, which includes members from Air Force, Army and Navy, are tasked to protected military assets from airborne enemies, also need to equip itself to face new challenges, which includes artillery guns and drone attacks. Drones may have skipped radar vigilance due to its low speed.”(KNO)

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