Local imprint on suicide attacks in Kashmir

Homegrown militants are increasingly carrying out fidayeen attacks on security personnel.

Published: 19th June 2019 09:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2019 09:34 AM   |  A+A-

Locals gather outside the damaged houses where two top Jaish-e-Mohammed JeM militants were hiding during an encounter at Bijbehara area of Anantnag district on 18 June 2019. (Photo | Zahoor Punjabi, EPS)

Locals gather outside the damaged houses where two top Jaish-e-Mohammed JeM militants were hiding during an encounter at Bijbehara area of Anantnag district on 18 June 2019. (Photo | Zahoor Punjabi, EPS)

Express News Service

SRI NAGAR: Unlike in the past when foreign militants used to participate in fidayeen attacks, local militants are increasingly carrying out suicide car bombings on security personnel in Kashmir.

On Monday evening, the militants targeted an armoured Army vehicle with a car bomb in Anantnag district in the third such attack since February 14 this year. Two jawans died a day later.

While the February 14 suicide attack by a local Jaish suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF men, a Hizbul militant made a botched attempt to ram his explosive-ridden vehicle onto a CRPF bus at Banihal on March 30. The explosives did not detonate and the militant escaped with minor injuries. Owais Amin, the Hizb militant from south Kashmir, was arrested next day.

Heightened security on the Srinagar-Jammu highway and bans on civilian traffic during convoy movement have not deterred the militants from resorting to car bombings on security forces.

A top security officer said the militants have changed strategy and are carrying out car bombing on security forces instead of the earlier fidayeen attacks on camps of security forces. “Since security camps are fortified, militants are finding it tough to breach security there and, hence, are going for car bombings.”

The Standard Operating Procedure would be revised and security further tightened to counter such attacks, he said.

READ HERE | JeM militant whose car was used in Pulwama attack, killed in Anantnag encounter

Former J&K Police chief Kuldip Khoda said the local militants are now willing to go for suicide attacks. “They are now taking part in suicide attacks, knowing fully that there is no chance of surviving. It was never seen earlier.”

When local militants are going for suicide attacks, he said, it was obvious that there would be a rise in suicide attacks and car bombings. “In the past, foreigners used to participate in such attacks.”

The ex-DGP said there is a change in mindset of local militants. “It shows radicalisation of youth. They are willing to go for more brazen actions rather than going for fidayeen attack, where there is also chance of escaping.”

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According to Khoda, it is a cause of concern as only one such incident had taken place before when a local youth had blown up his vehicle in Srinagar in 2000.

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