On Thursday afternoon, five army soldiers were killed when “unidentified terrorists” opened fire on their vehicles in J&K’s Poonch district, “taking advantage of heavy rains and poor visibility in the area,” according to a Udhampur-based official.
The vehicle caught fire after the terrorists used a grenade,” he said. The incident occurred around 3pm as military vehicles were moving between Bimber Gari and Poonch in the Rajuli sector.
The update was issued at 6:45 p.m., but the Army had said in earlier communications that the vehicle had “ignited” and caused casualties.
At 6:33 pm Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said in a Twitter post: My thoughts are with the bereaved families at this tragic time. ”
The deceased have been identified as Hab Mandeep Singh, L/Nk Kurwant Singh, Sepp Harkrishan Singh, Sewak Singh from Punjab and L/Nk Devasish Bhaswar from Orissa.
The attack comes as the military leadership and the government discuss a proposal to withdraw Rashtriya rifle units from the valley’s hinterland and let the CRPF fill the void.
With the earlier transfer of the RR division to eastern Ladakh, forces in the area have been partially reduced, sources said.
Thursday’s attack came a week after Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed Johnson’s security situation on April 13. He also reviewed the preparations for the G20 meeting scheduled to be held in Srinagar in May and asked all agencies to coordinate for the success of the meeting.