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Day After Soldiers Thwart Attempted Drone Attack at Army Station, 3 More Flying Objects Seen in Jammu

Security personnel outside the Jammu air force base after it was hit by two low intensity explosions  in the early hours of Sunday. (PTI)

Security personnel outside the Jammu air force base after it was hit by two low intensity explosions in the early hours of Sunday. (PTI)

According to officials, the first drone was spotted in Kaluchak cantonment area, second in Ratnuchak cantonment area and the third in Kunjwani area.

Three suspected drones were spotted again at three different locations in Jammu on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. This comes a day after an attempt to target military installation in the region with the aerial object was “thwarted" by alert soldiers.

According to officials, the first drone was spotted in Kaluchak cantonment area, second in Ratnuchak cantonment area and the third in Kunjwani area between 1:30 and and 4 am. A preliminary probe is already underway into the attack by two unmanned aerial vehicles on the nearby IAF station. The investigation has indicated at the possible use of a cocktail of chemicals including RDX in the first of its kind terror strike in the country.

Sunday’s blast that left two people injured has caused concern in security circles as it could mark the first time that drones have been used in such an attack in India.

Vijay Kumar, a senior police official in the region, told Reuters the incident posed a new threat for security agencies. “Certainty it is a big challenge but can be handled technologically," he said.

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The twin explosions that rocked the high-security technical area of Jammu airport in the early hours of Sunday may have been planned and executed only for the purpose of “optics," CNN-News18 has learned from top sources in the Intelligence Bureau.

“It’s possible that no human is involved in this execution, except operating the drone. Longitude and latitude were taken from Google map. This attack is possibly done only for optics to show their reach to sensitive installations," said top sources.

Intelligence sources also informed CNN-News18 that Pakistan army and ISI may have been behind the twin blasts.

Top officials, who did not want to be named, further revealed that the drone used was highly sophisticated and guided. “Proper GPS guidance was given," they said.

Discussions within closed doors of India’s highest investigating agencies have ruled out the involvement of any sleeper cell in Jammu. “The area of blast and nearby 10kms radius is Hindu majority population. In this area, bringing drone with this much explosive is impossible. There was no recent input that any such assembly kind of situation is happening," revealed sources.

Top central government sources said that they will wait for the probe and forensic test results before confronting Pakistan with evidence. Defence expert Major General Katoch said India must treat this as an act of war if probe conclusively establishes Pakistan imprint. “If an unmanned aerial vehicle from Pakistani soil entered India, then it is a violation of ceasefire. India must respond. If Balakot was not a deterrent enough for Pakistan, then a retaliation which acts as a deterrent is in order," he said.

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first published:June 29, 2021, 08:06 IST