Tactical shift, scarce intel put forces on defensive in J&K

The Machedi incident is the second major attack in Kathua within a month, following a similar confrontation on June 12 and 13 that left two terrorists and a CRPF jawan dead.
Search operation underway after terror attack on Air Force convoy in J-K's Poonch
Search operation underway after terror attack on Air Force convoy in J-K's PoonchFile Photo

NEW DELHI: Five soldiers were killed and as many wounded in a terror attack in the remote Machedi area of J&K’s Kathua district on Monday, reflecting a spurt in terror attacks and hinting at changes in tactics by terrorists. It also revealed weaknesses involving troop deployment.

Sources in the security establishment indicate a thinner troop deployment, scarce ground intelligence inputs, and a tactical shift in terrorist strategy. The area earlier was looked after by a battalion (around 800 troops) which at present has two companies (around 260 troops). Also, terrorists have reduced taking logistics support from the locals and are using caves/caverns for hiding, sources said.

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The thick foliage and tree canopies add to the camouflage both from aerial surveillance and human tracking, they added. “These terror operations are being led by retired soldiers of the Special Service Group, the special operations group of Pakistan Army,” said a source.

The Machedi incident is the second major attack in Kathua within a month, following a similar confrontation on June 12 and 13 that left two terrorists and a CRPF jawan dead.

SP Vaid, former Jammu and Kashmir Police, had told this newspaper that militant infiltration has not stopped. “Pakistan has a militant factory which churns out attackers in J&K to cause disturbance,” he said. The spurt in terror attacks in Jammu is a planned move by terrorists “to draw attention” to their self-belief that “terrorism is not dead”. Sources in the security establishment said keeping in mind the shifting focus of terrorism in Jammu, the government has authorised confiscation of properties of supporters of terrorists.

Search operation underway after terror attack on Air Force convoy in J-K's Poonch
Five Army personnel killed, five injured in terrorist ambush in J&K's Kathua

No logistic support from locals

Terrorists have reduced taking logistics support from the locals and are using caves for hiding, sources said. The thick foliage and tree canopies add to the camouflage both from aerial surveillance and human tracking, they added.

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